Kyle Dubas has brought in some reinforcements for the Toronto Marlies Calder Cup run with his eye on the future. Welcome Yegor Korshkov, thanks for bringing some size.
Careful what you wish for…
This message is for those crying out for the installation of size on the Leafs roster. It’s obvious that there is a general lack of size on this roster, but it hasn’t been constructed to be a smothering team.
The decision to opt for speed over size allowed the Leafs to be one of the NHL’s most lethal regular season teams offensively. Korshkov adds size back to this team, but at a massive loss to the skill side of things.
Statistically speaking, Korshkov is probably not going to light up the score sheet. This season in the KHL he’s amassed 5 points in 19 games played. His record season was in 2017/18 when he had 8 goals and 18 assists, good for 26 points in 52 games played.
He’s been a top Russian prospect through his development in the KHL and looked solid in the 2016 World Juniors. He managed 8 points in a 7 game tournament for the Russian squad.
The outlook with the Leafs
This draft pick, from the Lou-Hunter era, has been set on an important route to develop into a well-rounded player. He’s been playing in the KHL since 2014, allowing him to play with some of Europe’s best players and earn his stripes against grown competition.
Now Korshkov will join a well-oiled Marlies machine amidst a Calder Cup playoff run. Korshkov will get time to adjust to the intensity of playoff hockey and will also get to wade into the North American style of play ahead of the 2019/20 Leafs training camp.
With the Leafs, Korshkov may be a low-cost, low-risk high-reward type player who could replace the likes of Connor Brown. Brown has been essential to the Leafs form over the past two seasons, however, his $2 million cap hit is probably too much to balance for the top-heavy leafs forward group.
All signs point to Korshkov getting a chance to make the team next season after signing his ELC on May 1st. He’s being given an opportunity to get to know the Marlies, the city of Toronto and to impress a general manager who is extremely involved in his AHL affiliate team.
No pressure, though. Get prepared, Leaf fans! If Korshkov makes the team next season it will be in the place of skill and speed!