Physical: Height: 5’11″ / 180 cm, Weight: 154 lbs / 70 kg
TLN Top-20 Ranking From Last Year: N/A
Draft Information: 2019 4th-round, 115th overall
The overall theme in this June’s draft, was simply to get the highest-ceiling player and make sure that they have a certain amount of skill. With the fourth-round selection of Mikhail Abramov – and Nick Robertson two rounds prior – GM Kyle Dubas and the Leafs’ scouting staff clearly targeted players that would not have an impressive amount of size to their game, but would still be able to play offensively and contribute as a solid prospect to instil some hope in.
Standing at 5-foot-11 is being about league-average in terms of height, but when considering he’s coming in at just 154 lbs, he screams undersized winger that will beat the odds and add some build to become a well-rounded player.
Abramov is the first skater that the Leafs have drafted out of the QMJHL since Dmytro Timashov back in 2015. Whether or not that signifies a lack of trust in that league – compared to the nine skaters out of the OHL and five from the WHL – but it’s not a league that they approach very often to get their drafted talent.
He should be in for an interesting year with the Victoriaville Tigres, a team that placed 12th overall among the 16 teams in the Quebec league. Whether or not he makes a move to a contender or not, he could be someone to watch out for.
Why Is He In This Tier?
When it comes to sitting on the fence, a prospect can essentially be a role player in the NHL or just a simple farmhand.
Collectively, no one has seen enough of Abramov in North America to truly understand his potential and at such a young age, it might change over the upcoming years in the QMJHL.
His first season with the Tigres ended with 16 goals, 38 assists, for 54 points in a total of 62 games played. Fairly solid for a prospect in their draft year that’s playing in a completely different continent for the first time.
Abramov has time on his side, but right now he’s in a tier where we’re able to rank him comfortably and not completely downplay his potential.
When it comes to Abramov, like most 18-years-old drafted in the later rounds of the draft, there’s still some time to really get to know what kind of player he is. How he will develop over the next couple years will be extremely telling and one entire fanbase will certainly take note if he makes a giant jump into the top echelon of drafted players in his league next season.
But last year he was certainly in the upper tier when it comes to draft-eligible skaters in the QMJHL last season.
According to Will Scouch’s involvement percentage metric — the average involvement of a player in their team’s offence (points per game divided by team goals per game) – Abramov sat at a 31.50%. That percentage was the fifth-highest among draft-eligible QMJHL forwards in 2019 and up to third taking into consideration, the other two weren’t in their first year of eligibility.
Essentially, Abramov was on Victoriaville’s top offensive line and contributed heavily to his team’s success. Even if they were in the bottom ring of teams in the QMJHL, he still was relied upon enough to win some games.
Since he was buried down on a poor team in a league that not a lot of people pay attention to, there weren’t many public scouting reports available on him.
But a brief glimpse at highlights from an entire year ago, demonstrate a strong skater with a decent shot that will go past a fair amount of goalies.
Trying to be realistic but also optimistic about a slightly promising prospect is difficult, but if Abramov can become a middle-six forward in the NHL, I would say that’s a best-case scenario.
Developing his physical tools that already exist and adding some physicality to his game would go a long way. But Abramov can certainly provide enough offence for him to be a strong candidate to eventually raise up to a top-tier in the Leafs’ prospect system.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Abramov becomes another offensively-gifted junior player that never puts it all together for the professional game.
But there’s enough there for him to become a consistent threat in the AHL, or become a top player in a European league. Whether or not he stays in North America, he could always be someone that will have a permanent spot in the top-six of a minor-league team.
That’s a worst-case scenario with his offensive tools.
Abramov will no doubt be someone to watch when it comes to Leafs prospects next season. Playing on a poor Victoriaville team will have some effect on his overall counting stats, but he will be their top offensive option.
Along with other forwards like newcomer Alexander Peresunko, Abramov could make an impressive sophomore season in the QMJHL.
It might not exactly translate into professional success as soon as the 2020-21 season, but as he heads into his early-20s, he can make the jumps needed for a player of his status.
He has demonstrated enough responsibility offensively while being decent enough to impress during some international tournaments.
Essentially, we will all need to wait and see where Abramov ends up at season’s end.