Maple Leafs make decision on 2016 third-round pick

Knights Owner and Director of Player Personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs Mark Hunter talks about winning the MasterCard Memorial Cup and Marner's future.

The door for a big-money Toronto offer sheet in the summers of 2016 or 2017 is closed, for now.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have decided to retain their 2016 third-round draft pick, Sportsnet confirmed.

The Maple Leafs must forfeit a third-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings and a third-round pick to the New Jersey Devils as delayed compensation for hiring away head coach Mike Babcock and general manager Lou Lamoriello, respectively.

By hanging on to their 2016 third-rounder, Toronto must now surrender its 2017 third-rounder to Detroit for Babcock and its 2018 third-rounder to New Jersey for Lamoriello.

The deadline to make this decision was today.

This means the Maple Leafs currently hold 12 draft picks total in 2016, including two in each of the first four rounds, and incredible flexibility on the draft floor.

READ MORE: Watch out for the 5 teams with extra Round 1 draft picks

By retaining this year’s third-rounder, Toronto would have to work out a deal with Detroit and/or New Jersey in order to require its own 2017 or 2018 third-rounder and sign a member of 2016’s deep RFA class to an offer sheet.

Here is the offer sheet compensation chart. Note how third-rounders are key:

Average annual value Compensation
Less than $1,239,226 Nothing
Over $1,239,226 to $1,877,615 Third-round pick
Over $1,877,615 to $3,755,233 Second-round pick
Over $3,755,233 to $5,632,847 First and third-round picks
Over $5,632,847 to $7,510,464 First, second and third-round picks
Over $7,510,464 to $9,388,080 Two firsts, a second and third-round picks
Over $9,388,080 Four first-round picks

As things stand now, the Leafs would not be in a position to sign a big-money offer sheet in 2017 or 2018, although Toronto did make up for its lost 2018 third-rounder when James Reimer and the San Jose Sharks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Maple Leafs could also use some of their extra picks as trade currency or simply stock up on a dozen prospects.

According to General Fanager, Toronto could alter its compensation to Detroit and New Jersey via trade:

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