Reports out of Russia this morning are that Yegor Korshkov will play the 2018-19 season in the KHL.
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) April 28, 2018
Really this isn’t too big a concern for the Leafs, since they still have a deep wing pipeline on the Marlies with Grundstrom, Bracco, and Timashov, but there would have definitely been room to accommodate Korshkov if he wanted to come over. There is also the fact that the Leafs have few spaces available on wing in the top nine so graduating Marlies will remain a bit of a challenge.
Korshkov is 21 years old, and is in his fourth KHL season, which sounds pretty impressive. He’s also 6’4 and my understanding is that you can’t teach size and that’s probably why he’s in the system. Korshkov received some consideration for the Russian Olympic team this season as well, so there’s definitely a lot of promise with this kid, albeit probably in a bottom six forward capacity.
His TOI/G points to his usage already being in the bottom six forward group, but another year in the KHL should allow us to see if he’s capable of breaking out of that role, at least in the KHL and adding more offense. There’s been steady progress in all areas year after year, so if the Leafs bring over a potential NHL/AHL tweener on an upward trajectory after this year, that seems promising.
Before the season Maple Leafs Nation had Korshkov as the 9th best prospect in the Leafs system, with improvements this season, and the graduation of players like Johnsson, Dermott, and Borgman, he’ll probably move up our list either through merit or declining depth. While it’s disappointing that he won’t be in Toronto developing alongside other Leafs prospects and learning the system, we can take comfort in the fact that he’s still playing in a highly competitive league, and won’t be taking up one of the Leafs 50 contract spaces.