Told #Leafs' Nikita Soshnikov (concussion) hasn’t been formally cleared yet. Was feeling symptoms over summer. Hopes to be cleared by camp.— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) August 28, 2017
As we were all riding the wave into the pre-season, it appears something flew under the radar. Nikita Soshnikov, who suffered a concussion last season, hasn’t been cleared to play yet.
According to Dhiren Mahiban, Soshnikov hopes to be cleared by the time training camp rolls around, but felt concussion symptoms over the summer.
Soshnikov had a disappointing season last year after riding the wave to an impressive 11-game stint in 2015-16. Last season, the 23-year-old undrafted Russian free agent signing scored just five goals and four assists in 56 games with the Leafs and bounced up and down between the big club and the AHL Marlies.
This is obviously a pretty big wrench in Soshnikov’s plans to possibly carve out a role on a team already stacked with wingers. Soshnikov would be competing with the recently-signed Connor Brown and Zach Hyman and veterans Leo Komarov and Matt Martin for time in the bottom-six, and will also have to leapfrog two of Josh Leivo, Kasperi Kapanen, and Kerby Rychel for a roster spot in general.
Soshnikov won’t have to go through waivers, so there’s a chance he could start the season in the AHL, especially if this concussion issue forces him to miss action into October.