Maple Leafs Appear to Have Found a Hidden Gem

Published March 1, 2023 at 8:30

The Maple Leafs have drafted very well over the past few seasons. It appears they may have found another diamond in the late rounds.

Leafs Prospect Lighting Up the KHL

The 2022 draft was a success for the Maple Leafs for several reasons.

Getting out of Petr Mrazek's contract to move down 13 picks was a big win, granted they missed out on the heavily rumoured to Toronto, Owen Beck.

With the 38th pick, they took a safe swing on Fraser Minten, who likely won't be anything more than a middle-six winger, but has a very comfortable floor for a second rounder.

Other selections included Denis Hildeby and Nick Moldenhauer, both of whom are surprisingly projectable to the league despite being picked later.

Finally, 135th overall, the Leafs scooped up Russian overager Nikita Grebyonkin.

Grebyonkin is doing great things as a 19-year-old in the KHL, with 26 points in 52 games.

This puts him with the 4th most productive 19-year-old season in KHL history (granted not nearly as high in points per game).

Grebyonkin isn't as projectable as other top Leafs prospects, as his pacing and NHL instincts aren't quite there. If the development staff can develop his play into a middle-driven system, rather than the more perimeter based league of the KHL, he could really be something.

If Grebyonkin comes to North America, it'll likely be after the 2023-24 season. There's no such thing as a surefire NHLer in the fifth round, but it's hard not to be excited by Grebyonkin so far.

Source: Maple Leafs Insider
March 1   |   449 answers
Maple Leafs Appear to Have Found a Hidden Gem

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