With the 31st overall pick and the first pick of the second round, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected KHL forward Yegor Korshkov.
It’s an off the board pick for the Leafs. Korshkov was ranked 43rd by ISS Hockey, but as low as 121st by others, and was a consensus mid-to-early third round pick.
All of that aside, what are the Leafs getting in the 6″4′ Russian winger?
Here’s what the scouting reports say:
Corey Pronman of ESPN:
got a lot of attention after a very good performance at the WJC, and he has
been a decent bottom-six forward for his KHL team after going undrafted by NHL
clubs the past two years. Korshkov is a towering power forward, with a strong
6-foot-4 frame that he uses to bulldoze his way to the front of the net and win
many battles along the boards. He’s a good skater for a man his size, showing
excellent balance. Korshkov’s hands won’t dazzle, but he can make coordinated
plays to avoid a check here or there. He’ll move the puck at a fair level, and
he isn’t just a bump-and grind big man.
Here are Korshkov’s boxcar stats:
Korshkov joins a group of Leafs winger prospects that’s deep but lacking a blue chipper. Korshkov fits in well in that sense, as he’s got potential but might be considered something of a long-shot to reach it at this point, at least in the eyes of most scouts.
Clearly though, the Leafs disagree. If they were willing to take a player most didn’t expect to even be taken in the second round at 31st overall, they must be big fans.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens around his playing status in Russia and if/when he comes over. If he does come over at some point he’d figure to start in the AHL. Age isn’t a concern there, as Korshkov turns 20 in July and was passed over in two previous drafts.
I’m not a fan of the pick because it seems to me like the Leafs could’ve gotten Korshkov later, and thus could’ve attempted some sort of trade down if they really wanted to take him, but the Leafs would certainly know better than I would both about how good he is and whether or not other teams were high on him. While it seems like these, “really? You took him there?” picks don’t usually work out, I’ll give the Leafs the benefit of the doubt.