The playoffs are truckin’ along but apparently Kyle Dubas is still putting in work…
Hearing #TMLtalk is among the few remaining teams closing in on Ilya Mikheyev, 24yo speedy versatile RW. No agreement in place yet
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) April 23, 2019
Accurate. Leafs have been chasing this guy for awhile. As @IgorEronko has previously reported, Vegas in the mix and I believe, Chicago as well. Majority of NHL teams have shown interest. Decision this weekend. https://t.co/RwqAOwWogl
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 23, 2019
So that’s a thing, and it looks promising for the Leafs, especially since Toronto has a much more favourable reputation when it comes to bringing over KHLers than Vegas does, and is in a much more competitive position than the Blackhawks are.
We know Dubas has made a couple of trips to Russia to both check in on Leafs draftees like Yegor Korshkov and to scout players like Mikheyev, and in what will be a cap crunched season next year, Mikheyev could be a nice and affordable replacement for which ever player draws the short straw and gets sent packing this summer.
Mikheyev has played four seasons in the KHL for Avangard Omsk, his hometown team, and has steadily improved each season. His appearance at the World Hockey Championships last season is what likely triggered the increased scouting for a number of teams, and now that he is no longer under contract in Russia, we can pretty much expect a maxed out bonuses 1 year entry level contract to be what is on the table from the interested NHL teams. It will entirely come down to where is the best fit for Mikheyev, and with the Leafs currently having Zaitsev on their roster, and the opportunity existing to come over with Yegor Korshkov, the personal fit might be there for the Leafs as well as the professional opportunity, as there will definitely be a roster spot on the Leafs that will be his to lose. Hopefully he insists on keeping 66 as his number.