As usual, when any information breaks out of Russia, credit goes to Dmitry Chesnokov for finding the nugget:
— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) May 14, 2012
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) May 14, 2012
Now, we had known last week if we were paying attention that Komarov has wanted to come and join the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had a year left on his contract, but there was an “out” clause that he used, and apparently he is about to exercise. Nothing is official out of Toronto yet.
Komarov is actually Finnish, selected in the 6th round, 180th overall, back in 2006. He’s been with Dynamo Moscow for the last three seasons after spending his formative years in the SM-Liiga.
But what kind of player is Komarov? Well, according to that Chris Johnston story linked above:
Once considered nothing more than a pest, he’s developed into a responsible two-way player who shows occasional flashes of a scoring touch.
This sounds like a type of player the Leafs could use. Not just in the scoring aspect, but a little bit of sandpaper or two-way play in the bottom two lines. He probably shouldn’t be expected to come in and put up 20 goals, because he was never really a dominant scorer in his junior days.
Here are his statistics over the last three seasons with Dynamo:
And here’s how that translates to the NHL over 82 games:
Not a lot of third liners get 35 points, and I don’t expect Komarov to be an outlier if he’s playing a depth role.
Still, because he’ll be on an entry-level deal if he purpotedly signs, it’s a pretty risk-free move for the Leafs to make. Right now they are log-jammed with bad contracts given to bad players on the bottom six, so if Komarov turns out to be a flop in the NHL, he’s still a slight improvement.
The most important thing to pay attention to with those NHL equivalencies is that no matter how Russian his name sounds, or no matter how many time he’s referred to as “dynamic” he’s not a guy who has found any scoring success at the pro ranks until the last two seasons.
If he plays next year, that’s super. If he manages 15 goals, that’s spectacular.