Leafs Prospect Roundup: TLN Rankings recap, Ovchinnikov overload, Koster cashes in

Over the last few weeks, we here at TheLeafsNation have been counting down the Leafs’ top 20 prospects as voted on by our team of writers and that countdown wrapped up today with Nick Robertson coming in at number one. The top three are in a tier of their own as the only prospects to receive an “A” grade but the system is deep overall, with a number of prospects that realistically project as NHL players in some capacity. It was a tight

Check out the full rankings here, and click on a player’s name to view his TLN Prospect Rankings profile:

Rank Player Grade NHL ETA
1  Nick Robertson A 0-1 years
2 Rasmus Sandin A 0-1 years
3 Rodion Amirov A 1-2 years
4 Timothy Liljegren B 0-1 years
5 Filip Hallander B 1-2 years
6 Mikhail Abramov B 2-4 years
7 Joey Anderson B 0-1 years
8 Mikko Kokkonen C 2-4 years
9 Topi Niemela C 2-4 years
10 Nick Abruzzese B 2-4 years
11 Joseph Woll B 2-4 years
12 Roni Hirvonen C 2-4 years
13 Mac Hollowell C 1-2 years
14 Semyon Der-Arguchintsev C 2-4 years
15 Ian Scott C 2-4 years
16 Artur Akhtyamov C 5+ years
17 Filip Kral C 2-4 years
18 Kristians Rubins C 1-2 years
19 Pontus Holmberg C 2-4 years
20 William Villeneuve C 2-4 years

A handful of players including Veeti Miettinen and Dmitri Ovchinnikov found themselves on the outside looking in despite receiving votes inside the top 20. Nick DeSouza wrote about them being honorable mentions this year, but both players are likely to land higher on this list the next time around.

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Aside from Miettinen and Ovchinnikov, the player I believe will take the biggest leap in our next prospect rankings is Roni Hirvonen who the Leafs selected in the second round of the 2020 draft. He has played a key role for Assat in Liiga this season and has begun to produce offensively as of late, showing the versatility to play both down the middle and on the wing. Liiga is currently on hold but fortunately for Hirvonen, as well as Leafs fans, he appears primed to play a large role on the Finnish team at the upcoming World Juniors.

Dmitri Ovchinnikov – C/RW – Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk (MHL)

Ovchinnikov might not have made his way into our top 20, but he is making his way into the Prospect Roundup just about every week and with the season he is putting together, his ranking is sure to increase significantly next year. He added three goals and two assists to his totals in his last four games, and is now leading the MHL with 37 points. His 24 games played are at least six fewer than everyone else in the top five in league scoring, as well. He has shown no signs of slowing down and there’s a good chance we’ll be talking about him right here again next week.

Veeti Miettinen – LW/RW – St. Cloud State (NCAA)

Miettinen looked dangerous in each of his first two games in the NCAA but was held off the scoresheet despite registering seven shots on goal. That all changed in his third game when he sniped his first goal for St. Cloud State before adding a pair of assists to finish off a three point night. It’s far too early to make any definitive judgments one way or the other but Miettinen’s performance through his first few games of North American hockey has been impressive.

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Yegor Korshkov – RW – Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)

Korshkov has played a starring role for Lokomotiv in the KHL so far this season, leading his team with 23 points in 33 games. His strong play has turned heads, not only within the Leafs’ front office, but with Russia’s national program. Earlier this week the powerful winger was named to Russia’s roster for the Channel One Cup, part of the Euro Hockey Tour, which will take place between December 17th and December 20th. It’s not exactly the Olympics, but being included as part of this exhibition series is a testament to how well Korshkov has played in the KHL this season.

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Mike Koster – LHD – University of Minnesota (NCAA)

A couple of weeks ago, Mike Koster thought he had scored his first NCAA goal but it was later determined that his shot had been deflected on the way in. Well, he got his first goal for real in a victory over the Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday and now has three points through Minnesota’s first eight games. Koster will be playing bigger minutes in the coming weeks with multiple Gophers’ blue liners vying for spots on the American WJC roster, and he was apparently in consideration for a spot on that roster as well according to Minnesota’s head coach.

Denis Malgin – C/RW – Lausanne HC (NL)

Though he’s not exactly a prospect in the traditional sense of the word, having already played 192 regular season NHL games, Malgin is only set to turn 24 years old next month and is still trying to establish himself as a full time NHLer. Acquired last season in a trade for Mason Marchment, Malgin entered a battered Leafs lineup and failed to produce in eight appearances but he did inject a little more speed and tenacity to the lineup. Toronto sent him to play for Lausanne in the Switzerland’s National League this fall and he has been a productive offensive player for them with eight goals and four assists through 12 games. We should soon find out if Malgin will return to Toronto for training camp or remain in Switzerland for the duration of the season, but he will be fighting an uphill battle in a deep Leafs forward group if he does come back this year.

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(Statistics from EliteProspects.com)