Maple Leafs Almost Drafted Top Goalie in 2017

Published August 19, 2023 at 9:45

The Toronto Maple Leafs' history with goaltenders has been rocky, to say the least. There have been moments of greatness mixed in with periods of disappointment. The team has faced difficulty in finding a long-term solution in net, which has impacted their chances in the playoffs. However, it appears that the Leafs could have had an excellent goaltender if they had made a different choice during the 2017 draft.


Draft Day Misfortune

In the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins selected Jeremy Swayman in the fourth round. However, according to a recent episode of the Empty Netters podcast, Swayman revealed that the Toronto Maple Leafs were very interested in him. His agent had informed him that the Leafs were considering selecting him.

Swayman's impressive performances in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League had caught the attention of Canada's premier team. Sadly for the Leafs, they chose to draft a different goaltender, Ian Scott, who has since retired.

The fourth round came and Toronto was up 110 and they picked a goalie,» Swayman said. «It was like ‘Alright, maybe not this year,' that kind of thing. Kind of bummed but at the same time hopeful still cause I talked to other teams.

A Lost Opportunity for the Leafs

Jeremy Swayman has proven to be a formidable goaltender in the NHL over the past three seasons. Through his first 86 games, he has an impressive 54-23-7 record, complemented by a .920 save percentage and a 2.24 goals-against average. These numbers speak volumes about his ability and consistency.

Meanwhile, the Leafs have had to cope with the inconsistent performances of their current group of goaltenders, including Jack Campbell. It's hard not to wonder how things would have been different for the franchise had they selected Swayman instead.

In hindsight, drafting Swayman might have altered the trajectory of the Maple Leafs. As they continue to search for their next star goaltender, the fact that they could have had one in Swayman is sure to leave a bittersweet taste for their fans.

As seen on Daily Hockey Dose - Swayman Believed He Was Going to be a Maple Leaf on Draft Day
August 19   |   36 answers
Maple Leafs Almost Drafted Top Goalie in 2017

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