The Maple Leafs are bringing two prospects overseas to join the organization.

First, the club signed 2020 first rounder Rodion Amirov to a three-year entry-level deal that begins in the 2021-22 season.

The plan seems to be to bring Amirov over to Toronto to work with the development staff as soon as possible and have him stay in Toronto until the start of the 2021-22 KHL season. Amirov will remain with Ufa in the KHL until he cracks the Leafs‘ lineup:

Interestingly, the Leafs, Amirov, and his camp elected not to include performance bonuses in this contract, in order to make it easier for the cap-strapped Maple Leafs to get Amirov NHL games as soon as he is ready. Nick Robertson and Rasmus Sandin also elected for the same decision, and both have already become options who have seen games for the Leafs.

There is a lot to be excited about within Amirov’s game. The shoot-first winger provides a tonne of value defensively, in transition, and on the forecheck. He has all the ingredients of a strong play-driver in the NHL. For more on his game, I wrote a development plan over on my substack which you can check out here.

We also learned around the same time today that 2019 third-rounder Mikko Kokkonen is joining the organization. The steady blueliner is joining the Marlies on an amateur tryout for the rest of the season, allowing him to play up to 25 AHL games.

Kokkonen just inked a two-year contract with the Lahti Pelicans, a team in the Finnish Liiga. Given that his current Liiga season ended earlier this week on Tuesday, he is free to come over and stay with the Leafs‘ organization until next season starts.

Kokkonen will benefit a lot from time with the Maple Leafs’ staff. His skating and gap control are two areas that need the most work in his game, and as we know, those are things that the dev staff in Toronto is quite good at teaching.

Also, while the Marlies do have a lot of bodies on defense, Kokkonen gives them a bit of a different look in comparison to what they already have as more of a defensive presence. He can also play either side, which will make it easier for him to get into the lineup.

Overall, it’s a smart bit of business by the Leafs to get these players around their staff as soon as possible to help influence their development.