Back in April, we were talking about various Bruins-related happenings in our staff Slack chat when one of our writers made an astute observation: Tuukka Rask was on the verge of making history.
Rask had already made history by that point last season, of course, breaking Tiny Thompson’s Bruins win record back in February.
While that’s certainly an impressive mark, the “verge of history” we were discussing several months back is, arguably, even better, because it involves laughing at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Heading into this season, Rask had 265 regular season wins in his 12-year NHL career. We’re 3 games into Year 13, and he has added 2 more wins for a grand total of 267, giving him a place of honor in the history of a storied Original 6 franchise.
With last night’s win in Las Vegas, Tuukka Rask set the all-time record for most regular season wins by a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick.
In the interest of fun, Rask also holds the record for most total wins (regular season and playoffs combined), and it isn’t really close.
First, we have to congratulate the Leafs for drafting such a successful goalie. Teams often swing and miss in the draft, but the Leafs nailed this one, and deserve credit.
The previous Leafs’ record belonged to one-time Bruin Felix Potvin, who won 266 games in his NHL career (though only 149 came with Toronto, while all of Rask’s have been with the Bruins).
Potvin was drafted 31st overall by Toronto back in 1990, while Rask was drafted 21st overall by Toronto in 2005.
The all-time winningest Maple Leafs draft picks
- Tuukka Rask* - 267
- Felix Potvin - 266
- Ken Wregget - 225
- Mike Palmateer - 149
- James Reimer - 146
* indicates a player who never played a single game with the franchise
Since drafting Rask in 2005, the Leafs have drafted 7 goalies. If you add all 7 of those goalies’ wins together, they almost have enough to equal half of Rask’s win total.
Of course, things aren’t perfect for Toronto. After drafting Rask, the Leafs have yet to win a single playoff series. I’m not sure how Rask has done personally, but I can’t imagine it’s much better than that.
Still, the Leafs deserve a lot of credit. Drafting goalies is tricky, and drafting good goalies is even more tricky.
On that June day back in 2005, the Leafs nailed it.