Per Internet, Leo Komarov to join Leafs next season

As usual, when any information breaks out of Russia, credit goes to Dmitry Chesnokov for finding the nugget:

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:

  GP G Pts
2010 47 5 16
2011 52 14 26
2012 46 11 24

And here’s how that translates to the NHL over 82 games:

  G+ Pts+
2010 7 23
2011 18 34
2012 16 36

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.

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  • Danny Gray

    If he plays next year, that’s super. If he manages 15 goals, that’s spectacular.

    Hell if he manages 10 goals that’s spectacular.
    The Leafs need to avoid overpaying for bottom 6 “talent” it can be had on the cheap.

    I’ll have a piece upcoming about over-valuing bottom six guys based on reputation.

    • Thing with the bottom six is that the fourth line is pretty much made up of replacement players. Maybe combined you get 1 WAR.

      I know we don’t have a legitimate WAR number yet, but I can’t imagine many team’s fourth lines give you more than that, so you may as well just make your 4L a bunch of waiver wire pickups. This gives you a bit of extra money to spend on the third line.

      • Danny Gray

        Pretty much, but GMs get caught up in looking for “role players” or “name” guys. Players who made a reputation for themselves are but in reality barely above replacement level.

  • BCapp

    I think the key with a fourth line is to just make sure they aren’t bad. If they are playing less than 10 minutes a night I just want to make sure they aren’t causing goals against.