Toronto Maple Leafs prospect roundup: Young Marlies thriving in playoffs

Rasmus Sandin #78 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Rasmus Sandin #78 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Yegor Korshkov, Right Wing, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)

There were rumblings that, following the KHL campaign, Korshkov would be making his way over to play for the Marlies. But it’s looking like he’ll most likely join the team for the start of next season instead.

The 21-year-old missed the majority of this season due to injury. He finished the year with five points in 19 games during the regular season and three points in five playoff contests.

Instead of coming over to play down the stretch in the AHL, Korshkov once again elected to stay in Europe, this time to play for Russia in the Euro Hockey Challenge. He wouldn’t have been able to join the team until the end of the month, as KHL contracts don’t expire until April 30.

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Pontus Holmberg, Centre, Vaxjo Lakers (SHL)

Holmberg was coming off a season with VIK Västerås HK, a Swedish third-tier side, in his draft year. The Maple Leafs selected the overager in the sixth round in 2018.

He was loaned to Vaxjo in 2017-18, where he played a pair of games. The SHL team decided to make the move official this year, inking the centre to a two-year deal. He posted 10 points in 47 games this season with Vaxjo as a 20-year-old.

Holmberg also represented Sweden at the last World Juniors, failing to register a point in five outings.

He’ll have another year in the Swedish top flight before his future with the Leafs is decided. Like his fellow countrymen, he could sign an ATO with the Marlies in order to get in games on smaller ice at the end of next season.

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Vladislav Kara, Left Wing/Centre, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)

When the Leafs selected Kara in the fourth round back in 2017, many were in the dark about who he was, mainly because he didn’t have a stats page available.

The winger was coming off a successful season in the MHL – the Russian junior league – in which he put up 20 points in 31 games.

He’s since worked his way up the ranks of his organization, earning a full-time role with the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan. He did play 25 games for Bars Kazan – the minor affiliate – as well as four games back in junior. However, he played 41 games for Ak Bars, where he posted three goals and five points.

His 16 points in 25 games with Bars Kazan proves that he’s above the minors, but he hasn’t gotten as much of a chance in the top flight as he’d probably like. Perhaps he could come over and play for the Marlies at some point in the future, but I didn’t know what he even looked like until this past summer’s development camp, so I won’t make a prediction on his future as of now.

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Vladimir Bobylev, Left Wing, Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)

The 2016 sixth-round pick has returned to Russia following his time with the WHL’s Victoria Royals.

Bobylev has spent the last two years in the Salavat Yulaev Ufa organization. Last year, he put up a point per game in the Russian junior league with Tolpar Ufa.

This year, he’s spent most of his time with Toros Neftekamsk – the minor affiliate. He finished with a pair of goals and 14 points in 53 games. He had a chance to play three games for Salavat, but he didn’t register a point.

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Nikolai Chebykin, Left Wing, Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)

Make it a double dose of Leafs prospects on Toros.

Chebykin, 21, had his contract terminated by SKA St. Petersburg in 2017. Salavat Yulaev signed him to a two-year contract last summer. He also played three KHL contests this season, but he wasn’t able to get a point.

With Toros, Chebykin put up 14 points in 38 games. He’ll have another season in Russia, with a possibility of getting more time in the Russian top flight.

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Semyon Kizimov, Right Wing, Lada Togliatti (VHL)

The winger was the final pick by the Leafs in last summer’s draft. Kizimov has spent the last five years with his hometown team in Togliatti. He’s worked his way from the junior ranks to the top team over that time.

Last season, he had 14 points in 48 games with Lada Togliatti in the VHL. If he wants to play KHL hockey in the future, he’ll have to play for another team.

Togliatti was expelled from the KHL in 2010-11 due to the lack of a satisfactory arena. They’ve played in the second tier ever since.

Kizimov still seems like he’s a ways off from being ready for North American action, however, the Leafs seem to have luck with their late-round picks. So he could turn into something. Time will tell.

Next. Leafs: Sandin thrives for Marlies in Game 1. dark

Which prospects impressed you the most this season? Who are you looking forward to seeing next year? Which players would you like the Leafs to take in June’s draft? Let us know in the comments below!