Leafs and Thrashers in trade discussion: report
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke may be targeting the Atlanta Thrashers' fourth overall pick in NHL draft, the Globe and Mail reported Thursday.
The draft takes place Friday night in Montreal (7 p.m. ET), with CBCSports.ca hosting a live draft chat beginning at 6:30.
Thrashers GM Don Waddell, a friend of Burke, told the paper he's been exchanging ideas with his Leafs counterpart, who holds the seventh pick.
"We're certainly going to look at the trade market, but we've had no serious offers," Waddell said. "We have talked to everyone. He has a better chance of getting to number 1 if he already had the [number] 4."
Waddell, who told Toronto all-sports radio station the Fan on Thursday morning that he will continue to hold talks with Burke, was referring to the Leafs' desire to trade for the top overall pick, currently owned by the New York Islanders.
Two months ago, Burke expressed great interest in trying to deal up and land consensus No. 1 pick John Tavares of the OHL's London Knights.
If the Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning — the NHL clubs drafting first and second — keep their picks, Burke's other plan would be to trade with the Thrashers and pick Brandon Wheat Kings forward Brayden Schenn, the younger brother of Toronto blue-liner Luke Schenn, the Globe and Mail reports.
Brayden Schenn is considered a talented and hard-working centre with little weakness in his game.
The Los Angeles Kings, choosing fifth, are also reportedly interested in taking Schenn, which is why Burke might be seeking to leapfrog the California team by dealing with Atlanta.
Burke doesn't expect to make a trade prior to the draft, but will keep speaking with teams.
"I will tell you quite candidly that I haven't gotten anywhere on this," Burke told the Globe and Mail. "But I don't get discouraged easily, and in hockey terms it's still early.
"We will keep throwing some things at other teams, and we have further meetings scheduled."
Should the Leafs stay at No. 7, Burke said there are enough good prospects to choose from.
"If we're not successful, we're going to pick and that's fine," Burke said. "Until they call out a couple of names, we will keep trying to get the players we want."