OHL's Fab Four gladly would play in Toronto

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

Steven Stamkos is not the only stud prospect who would love to be a Maple Leaf in June.

Less than a week after the Sarnia Sting superstar told Sun Media that being drafted by Toronto would be "awesome," three other potential Top 5 picks yesterday chimed in on the prospect of wearing blue and white.

With the Leafs having plopped into the basement of the 15-team Eastern Conference, it is appearing that interim general manager Cliff Fletcher and his staff will have a legitimate shot to select Stamkos or one of highly-regarded defencemen Drew Doughty of the Guelph Storm, Zach Bogosian of the Peterborough Petes or Alex Pietrangelo of the Niagara Ice Dogs.

All four top-ranked players are in the Ontario Hockey League in what stands to be a banner season for commissioner David Branch's outfit.

"My buddies keep letting me know that going to Toronto would be great. They're Leaf fans so they'd like me there," Doughty, a native of London, said yesterday.

Having grown up idolizing Wayne Gretzky, Doughty said he could handle the spotlight of playing in a big market.

"I watched the way Wayne conducted himself off the ice as well as on. Hopefully watching him has taught me how to deal with fans and media," said Doughty, voted the top defenceman at the world junior championship.

Pietrangelo, like Stamkos, admitted sneaking a peek at the NHL standings every now and then, specifically checking out where the Leafs are mired.

"Being picked by the Leafs would be outstanding. My family would be thrilled," Pietrangelo, a native of King City, said.

Bogosian is an Ottawa Senators fan, having grown up just across the border from Cornwall in Massena, NY.

If it were to pass that he might one day face the Sens as a member of the Leafs, he said it would be "fun."

Stamkos, Doughty, Bogosian and Pietrangelo all could become household names in Leaf Nation as the draft approaches. Below is a closer look at the OHL's Fab Four, along with comments from an NHL amateur scout.

---

STEVE STAMKOS

Centre, Sarnia Sting

6-foot-1, 180 lbs.

Rankings: No. 1 (North American) by Central Scouting; No. 1, International Scouting Service; No. 1, TSN.

Stats: 43G, 48A, 91P

On The Leafs: "Being picked by Toronto would be a dream come true," said the Unionville native.

The Scout says: "Dynamic offensive force ... Like Mike Modano, he can play at high speed ... Would be dynamite in Toronto. For that kid to go to the Leafs would be perfect."

DREW DOUGHTY

Defence, Guelph Storm

6-foot-0, 213 lbs.

Rankings: No. 2 (NA skaters) by CSS; No. 2, ISS: No. 2, TSN.

Stats: 11G, 33A, 44P

On The Leafs: "My family would love it. Being from London they all grew up Leaf fans so they wouldn't have to change the team they cheer for if I get picked by Toronto."

The Scout says: "With his puck-moving skills he would inject a lot of skill into the Leaf defence ... Would be a huge addition for Toronto."

ZACH BOGOSIAN

Defence, Peterborough Petes

6-foot-2, 200 lbs.

Rankings: No. 3 (NA skaters) by CSS; No. 9, ISS; No. 4, TSN.

Stats: 10G, 44A, 54P

On The Leafs: "I grew up (an Ottawa Senators) fan. If the Leafs took me, playing in the Battle of Ontario would be fun."

The Scout says: "He's the complete package of size and skill ... Plays with an edge, which would endear him to Toronto fans."

ALEX PIETRANGELO

Defence, Niagara Ice Dogs

6-foot-4, 210 lbs.

Rankings: No. 5 (NA skaters) by CSS; No.4, ISS; No. 3, TSN.

Stats: 11G, 28A, 39P

On The Leafs: "Being from King City, I couldn't imagine anything better than being picked by the Leafs."

The Scout says: A calm, cool, collected kid who moves the puck well ... Maybe not as skilled as the other defencemen listed here but he has a lot of puck play ... Has potential to step right in and play for Leafs next year."


Videos

Photos