A midseason review of one of the Leafs' major offseason roster subtraction, Ilya Mikheyev

Published December 23, 2022 at 9:42 PM
BY BRADLEY CELSIE
During the offseason, the Leafs watched free agent forward Ilya Mikheyev sign a four year deal in Vancouver, which carries a $4.75 million cap hit. Last year, he enjoyed a career year with the Buds, scoring 21 goals and 32 points in 53 games. That pace had him scoring 32 goals over an 82 game season. Additionally, he is a proven penalty killer with blazing speed to push back defenders. He has multiple tools that are attractive to teams, hence the large contract with the Canucks.

Fast forward to this season, Vancouver is certainly happy with what they are getting. So far this year, Mikheyev has put up 17 points (10 goals & 7 assists) in 29 games. Additionally, he sits fourth amongst all Vancouver forwards in ice time, averaging 17 minutes and 12 seconds of ice time per night. He was not always happy with his ice time in Toronto, so this increase in ice time must be a welcomed change for the Russian forward. He has been playing top six minutes, most recently on a line beside the team's captain Bo Horvat and Conor Garland.

With the Leafs being so top heavy on the salary cap, Kyle Dubas would not have been able to make Mikheyev's contract work in Toronto, but there's no doubt that the Leafs miss a lot of what Mikheyev brought to the table. The Leafs are heading into the Holidays tied for the second most points in the league. And while it would be nice to have a player with Mikheyev's speed and versatility in the middle of the lineup, the truth is he is more of a nice to have, and not a must have player.

Early on this sesaon, as the Leafs were enduring the slow, rocky start, I think one of the major questions being asked was "did the Leafs make a mistake allowing Mikheyev to depart as a free agent?" But, ultimately, with the team performing so well in the first half, I don't necessarily think Dubas and company have any regrets - especially when the hole in the lineup has allowed players like Joey Anderson and Pontus Holmberg to get a longer look. So far, so good, as they say.


Source : CapFriendly, HockeyDB
Latest 10 stories
LEADERS
GPGAPTS
1-  NIKITA KUCHEROV
623867105
2-  NATHAN MACKINNON
623764101
3-  CONNOR MCDAVID
57237497
4-  DAVID PASTRNAK
62384987
5-  ARTEMI PANARIN
61354984
6-  WILLIAM NYLANDER
60335083
7-  J.T. MILLER
63305383
8-  AUSTON MATTHEWS
59532679
9-  LEON DRAISAITL
59304878
10-  MIKKO RANTANEN
62314778
2023-2024 LEADERS  
FOLLOW US
facebookinstagram
253 580 followers