Beyond BeLeaf

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Obviously lots of speculation about who will win the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, mainly centered on Buffalo, Edmonton, Arizona and Carolina but there’s a new entrant in the race and their chances are improving with every passing game.

Yes, folks, it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here is how the Lottery Standings stack up today:

Buffalo: 33

Edmonton: 37

Carolina: 43

Arizona: 45

Columbus: 45

Toronto: 48

It’s likely not possible for Toronto to lose enough to catch Buffalo but, given how Edmonton (4-6-0), Carolina (5-2-3), Columbus (3-7-0), Arizona (3-403) and Toronto (0-9-1) have played in their last 10 games, I think it’s highly likely that Toronto leapfrogs Columbus, Arizona and Carolina with an outside chance of catching the Oilers.

Columbus has 3 games in hand on the Leafs and Carolina 1, while the others have the same number of games played.

I’d wager the Leafs will finish in the #3 hole, greatly enhancing their chances of picking McDavid.

McDavid would be a perfect fit with the Leafs who have been looking for a #1C since Christ was a cowboy and a line of JVR-McDavid-Kessel could be a lot of fun to watch.

McDavid is a GTA boy, having grown up in Newmarket and playing in the Greater Toronto Hockey League before moving on to play with the Erie Otters.

Here’s how the lottery odds looked earlier this weeK:

The top contenders to win the 2015 NHL draft lottery (as compiled by nhllotterysimulator.com)

Team Points Odds

Buffalo Sabres 33 20.0%

Edmonton Oilers 37 13.5%

Carolina Hurricanes 41 11.5%

Arizona Coyotes 44 9.5%

Columbus Blue Jackets 45 9.5%

Toronto Maple Leafs 48 7.5%

New Jersey Devils 49 6.5%

Ottawa Senators 49 6%

*Based on standings prior to Wednesday’s action.

As you can see, the difference between #2 and #3 is a mere 2 percentage points so finishing 3rd gives you a pretty good shot.

That the Leafs are expected to hold a fire sale at the trade deadline, I don’t think it’s inconceivable that they can bring a Buffalo kind of putrid to the final month of the regular season striking terror into the hearts of hockey fans across the rest of the country.

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