The action has been calming down as of late, but there are still Leafs prospects playing games across the world.
Let’s dive right into what happened over the past week.
World Championships Update
The World Championships are still ongoing over in Latvia, with multiple Leafs prospects involved in the action.
F Filip Hallander finally got into the lineup for Sweden, taking fellow Leafs prospect F Pontus Holmberg‘s spot after the latter went pointless in two games.
Hallander played four games over this past week and managed to pick up one point — an assist on Ducks forward Isac Lundestrom’s empty netter on Sunday. He put in one heck of an effort to get the puck back from the Slovakian defender and was rewarded for his efforts, as you can see here:
Isac Lundeström gör 3-1 till Sverige, assisterad av Filip Hållander. #IIHFWorlds #NHLDucks #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/g0R4wjucoj
— Anton (@antonj85) May 30, 2021
Speaking of Leafs prospects who found the scoresheet at the World Championships this week, D Kristians Rubins, who is playing a big role for Latvia at the event, snuck home his first-ever World Championships goal against Team Norway:
🎯 Tieši mērķī!
🇱🇻 Ar precīzu metienu izceļas Kristiāns Rubīns un Latvijas hokeja izlase trešās trešdaļas vidū panāk 3:3 pret Norvēģiju. pic.twitter.com/BMcy5Ekk4A
— Tet+ (@Tet_plus) May 28, 2021
Rubins also managed an assist in the game, bringing the defensive defenseman up to two points through six contests.
F Fabrice Herzog was the only other Leafs prospect to receive playing time at the World Championships this week, with D Axel Rindell remaining a healthy scratch for Finland.
Herzog was held scoreless through his first three games, but he broke out in a dominant win against Belarus on Sunday with a goal and an assist. Here is a clip of his goal, which came shorthanded:
Fabrice Herzog had a two point game for Switzerland today, including this SHG. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/XsF2YOrDYg
— Josh Simpson (@joshsimpson77) May 30, 2021
Dmitri Ovchinnikov records shootout tally in final Black Sea Cup game
The Black Sea Cup wrapped up on Monday with an exhibition game for F Dmitri Ovchinnikov and his team against Team Latvia. Ovchinnikov didn’t record a point in regulation, but he did tally in the shootout:
Dmitri Ovchinnikov (#LeafsForever) scored in the shootout, but it wasn't enough, as Latvia went on to win the game. pic.twitter.com/b7qAFmYnjA
— Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) May 24, 2021
I went into greater detail of how the rest of the tournament went for Ovchinnikov here. To summarize, he finished the tournament with a goal and four assists. According to some hand-tracked micro stats from Dylan Griffing of EliteProspects, Ovchinnikov also generated expected goals at a higher rate than any other drafted prospect in the tournament:
Mikhail Goryunov-Rolgizer and Nikita Buruyanov (both #2021NHLDraft) were offensive forces.
Dmitri Ovchinnikov (#LeafsForever) led all drafted prospects in ixG/60 over the small sample.
Pavel Tyutnev (2021, re-entry) should 100% be drafted. pic.twitter.com/IRPkFVjV8U
— Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan) May 25, 2021
Overall, it was a successful tournament for Ovchinnikov, whose strong performance should help his case towards earning a spot on Russia’s World Junior team.
Mikhail Abramov, Victoriaville Tigres lead QMJHL Finals 2-1
F Mikhail Abramov is looking to become the third Leafs prospect to win a championship this year, joining Pontus Holmberg (SHL) and Joe Miller (USHL).
He and his Victoriaville Tigres began the QMJHL Finals series against the Val-d’Or Foreurs this week. Val-d’Or began this series undefeated throughout the entire QMJHL finals thus far.
Victoriaville ended the Foreurs’ magical playoff win streak in Game 1, winning the game 3-2. Abramov was held off the scoresheet in the victory.
Val-d’Or took Game 2 by a score of 4-1 to tie up the series, but this time they failed to hold Abramov off of the scoresheet. The Leafs prospect set up Avalanche draft pick Alex Beaucage for a power-play marker in the second period:
Alex Beaucage touche la cible en Avantage numérique !#GoTigresGo pic.twitter.com/7ZdinsCgjj
— Tigres de Victoriaville (@TigresVicto) May 29, 2021
Victoriaville bounced back from their Game 2 defeat on Sunday with a 4-3 comeback victory in which Abramov notched a pair of assists — both late in the third period.
His first assist of the game came with just over a minute to go in the third. Abramov found Shawn Element in front with a hard pass, and Element cashed in on his own rebound:
Shawn Element complète le jeu amorcé par Beaucage et Abramov pour faire 3-2 ! #GoTigresGo pic.twitter.com/3d8eC9zAsb
— Tigres de Victoriaville (@TigresVicto) May 30, 2021
Abramov’s second assist of the contest was on Beaucage’s game-tying goal with just five seconds remaining in regulation:
Voyez le but d'Alex Beaucage qui envoyait tout le monde en prolongation ! #GoTigresGo pic.twitter.com/3FJ4vUYCu5
— Tigres de Victoriaville (@TigresVicto) May 30, 2021
The Tigres went on to complete the comeback, winning in overtime.
This series looks like it should be a close one all the way to the end — an encouraging sign for Abramov and his Tigres given the competition that they’re facing here.
Other News and Notes:
- F Rodion Amirov has officially begun training with the Maple Leafs development staff in Toronto. His agent shared this picture on Friday:
Rodion Amirov in Blue and White… #WeAreGoldStar!. pic.twitter.com/zKv4W3nGC6
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) May 28, 2021
- The Leafs called up their Black Aces this week: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Mac Hollowell, Michael Hutchinson, Kalle Kossila, Timothy Liljegren, Stefan Noesen, Calle Rosen, Scott Sabourin, Joe Woll, and Veini Vehviläinen.
- For those of you that are big Marlies Fans: The ECHL Wichita Thunder, who recently received Leafs goalie prospect Ian Scott and a bunch of Marlies prospects on loan, played three games this week to close out their regular season. Here are the prospects’ stat lines over those games:
- Scott: 1GP, 21 saves, 4GA, .840 SV%
- Green: 3GP, 2 assists
- McKenna: 3GP, 1 goal
- McCourt: 3GP, 0pts
- Hoefenmayer: 3GP, 0pts
- McMann: 1GP, 1 goal
That’s all for this week’s prospect update. As always, thanks for reading and come back next Monday for next week’s edition!