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Maple Leafs Draft Ben Danford With the 31st Overall Pick

The newest Maple Leaf is D Ben Danford. Drafted with the 31st overall pick, the Leafs take the Canadian defender.

The Leafs originally had the 23rd overall pick, but they traded the pick to the Anaheim Ducks for the 31st pick, and the 58th pick. Anaheim took Stian Stolberg. Danford, originally from the Oshawa Generals, is a strong, two-way defender that skates well.

Danford was a defender who played a ton of minutes this past season for Oshawa. As previously mentioned, he is a good skater, who is able to escape pressure with the puck and skate up the ice well. He’s a smart player with the puck, and he’s able to make difficult passes to his teammates. He is able to close on pucks quickly, and he competes to try and beat guys to the puck. He’s also a physical player, who has a decent offensive touch. He’s nothing to write home about offensively, but that’s clearly not the main reason behind this draft choice. He’s able to make smart passes and smart plays, and looks to be strong while skating with pace. From time to time, he’ll jump into a rush, starting with his pass from the defensive zone. One issue he might have, is he has trouble seeing the ice when he runs a breakout.

When asked about the Danford pick, Leafs GM Brad Treliving noted his intelligence and competitiveness. Danford said in his post-draft interview that he grew up as a Leafs fan, and he was a huge Phil Kessel fan. If that doesn’t scream passion, then I don’t know what does. Danford is regarded as one of the best defensive defensemen in the entire OHL.

Now who can Ben Danford be? For Toronto, he can be a quality 2RD who eats minutes and plays a strong defensive game. He could be viewed in the same way we view Jake McCabe, or even a Chris Tanev type. Even though he wasn’t a name that was talked about this early, he is going to be a good player for the Leafs. Reminding Leafs Nation of last year with the Easton Cowan scenario, Danford will be a player that Leafs fans will be excited to see come to the NHL in the next few years.


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