Some of the best things in life are free. Samples at the grocery store, select Junior B hockey games and the smell of a freshly cut lawn. (Please don’t explain you have to pay for a lawnmower, and the lawn and everything else. I know.)
Some of the worst things in life are free as well. One of those things is arguing about polarizing Leafs’ prospects, in this case forward Toronto Marlies forward Dmytro Timashov.
Another skilled, dynamic forward under that all important 182.88 centimetre mark (6 feet for our readers from the US, Liberia and Myanmar), Timashov struggled to find his offensive touch in his first season of pro hockey, finishing 12th on the Marlies in total points.
A late birthday, Timashov was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 draft at 125th overall following a 90 point season with the Quebec Remparts. A season in which he was named rookie of the year in the QMJHL, albeit a couple years older than the other players eligible (see: Panarin) having previously played in the Swedish junior league for what would’ve been his draft year had he been born a couple weeks earlier.
The next year, the Ukrainian-born prospect was on pace to eclipse the 100 point mark before a midseason trade sent him to Shawinigan where he stumbled and failed to keep that torrid pace finishing 15 points shy. However, he was able to produce at over a point per game in the playoffs, helping the Cataractes to a QMJHL final berth.
Scott Maxwell: 7
Brayden Engel: 9
Ryan Hobart: 10
Adam Laskaris /// Evan Presement: 11
Bobby Cappucino: 12
Dylan Fremlin: 13
Megan Kim /// Jon Steitzer: 14
Hayley Hendren /// Shawn Reis: 16
Ryan Fancey: 17
What made Timashov rise in many people’s eyes were his draft year stats. How could a guy with 90 points in 66 games fall all the way to the fifth round?
There was a vocal crowd who liked to point out one thing: he played in the QMJHL. It was a weaker league, they said. He wouldn’t put up nearly as good numbers in another, more competitive league.
Unfortunately, the vocal crowd is appearing more right than wrong.
24 points as an AHL rookie on a pretty good team isn’t horrible, but it’s still less than groundbreaking. However, it’s still just a single season. Usage stats in the AHL are still pretty limited and it’s clear Timashov wasn’t exactly playing top-line minutes on the Marlies every night. Slot him in the “room to grow” category, or, you know, somewhere in the range of say, the 11th best Leaf prospect?
The Eye Test
As previously mentioned, Timashov possesses high offensive upside despite his stature. He is an agile and elusive skater with an accurate shot when he’s able to get it off. His most dangerous threat comes from his ability to back off defenders with his speed, giving himself time to find an open teammate or take it to the net himself. In limited viewing this year, his defensive ability was a mild concern but this is a common theme with players as dynamic as Timashov and not something we should be worrying about until Babcock gets a chance to mould him.
As Seen On TV
Full disclosure here, we used this clip last year in his prospect profile where we had him ranked 8th. However, the goal is one of the nicest you can get without actually making an attempt to shoot the puck at any point and the pass demonstrates his playmaking ability well, so it’s back. Bonus: French commentators using English sayings to celebrate a goal is always funny to me.
Here’s a full 2015-16 Highlight package via SEER Video:
Here’s a 2016-17 Edition:
And lastly, here’s the man himself talking about the season as a whole. Some great quotes in there if you’re up for a listen. Props on the “YYZ” hat as well.
With Kasperi Kapanen competing for a roster spot on the Leafs, Soshnikov still not cleared to play and Carl Grundstrom unable to play for the Marlies due to his contract overseas, Timashov will be given ample opportunity to succeed early in the season and prove himself worthy of those top line AHL minutes. Making the NHL roster out of camp doesn’t look like it’s quite in the cards, but he’s had the ability to surprise before. Maybe he’s put on 20 pounds and no one is talking about it yet? Maybe he learned how to shoot right AND left?
He saw some powerplay time last year but expect his responsibilities to grow with his first year of professional hockey now under his belt.
Don’t expect his levels of junior production again, but if he works out the kinks in his game he could be a top scoring option in the AHL this upcoming year if everything goes well.