In 2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected undersized but ultra-talented Mitch Marner with the 4th overall pick.
The choice immediately paid dividends in the rookie's first NHL season, scoring an impressive 61 points in 77 games. He's currently going through the dreaded sophomore slump, with 20 points in 34 games. Only 2 of those points are goals.
He's still on pace for 48 points which is nothing to scoff at. But when you look at who was drafted behind him at #8, you may start to play the "if only..." game in your head.
The Columbus Blue Jackets proudly selected Zach Werenski in the 8th spot, and they couldn't be any happier. The smooth skating defenseman sailed through an incredible rookie season, scoring 47 points in 78 games along the way. That is no small feat for a rookie defenseman at only 19 years of age.
Now, hindsight is obviously 20/20, and Marner is an excellent player despite his slump this year. But when you consider the team's biggest need is on the blue line, you can't help but think how much different this team would look with Werenski in it. Despite the Leafs' offensive woes as of late, they are still a very deep team up front - the trade off of Marner for Werenski would probably have been worth it.
The Leafs are still happy to have Marner, but you can't help but wonder what the team would be like if they had Werenski in their lineup instead.
Craig Custance of The Athletic shed light on what he thinks was the correct pick at #4.
"The correct pick? That would've been Zach Werenski at No. 8, but that's a debate for another day."
It'll sure be interesting to see how that debate plays out... on another day.