There is a rumor circulating out in hockey world, that Brian Burke, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs intends to “steal” the NHL Entry Draft. It is believed that his plan is to draft both Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk, who played together for the past two years on the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
Burke is very capable of “stealing” a draft, as he has done it before. Back in 1999, in his second season as Vancouver Canuck’s GM, Burke made a series of trades on draft day to select both Daniel and Henrik Sedin 2nd and 3rd overall. Burke started the process when Chicago won the draft lottery May 16. He immediately started talking with the Blackhawks in hopes of acquiring Chicago’s pick, No. 4. He did, trading defenseman Bryan McCabe and Vancouver’s No. 1 pick in 2000 or 2001 for the Blackhawk’s choice. Then he moved that pick to Tampa Bay with two third round picks, 75th and 88th choices overall, for the Lightning’s pick, No. 1 in the draft. Finally, the Canucks traded the first overall pick and a conditional third-round choice in 2000 to Atlanta for the Thrashers’ choice, second overall. When it was over, Vancouver had its twins.
It is entirely possible that Burke could wheel and deal its way to owning the two Russian teammates this season. Being the Sabre’s Northeast Division Rivals, let’s just hope Burke does not get away with robbery on June 22nd.