Toronto Maple Leafs will need to rely on Pierre Engvall with Mikheyev injured

With Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev expected to miss several months with a wrist injury, Pierre Engvall will likely fill his spot.

Seeing Ilya Mikheyev rush off the ice and hearing that the rookie will miss the next three months after having surgery on his wrist, the Toronto Maple Leafs will now have to go back to the drawing board.

With Andreas Johnsson still out and Trevor Moore recently diagnosed with a concussion, Pierre Engvall will likely get moved up in the lineup. Considering how significant of a role Mikheyev played on John Tavares‘ line and on the penalty kill, that won’t be an easy task.

However, Engvall has been able to carve out a permanent role in the lineup playing on the third line with Alexander Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen after being called up in November. In 17 games this season, the seventh-round pick from the 2014 NHL Draft has three goals and seven points.

William Nylander seemed to develop some chemistry with John Tavares and has picked things up offensively over this last stretch so that will be important going forward. It is unlikely to expect Zach Hyman to get moved back to Tavares’ line considering how he compliments Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

It is unfortunate for Mikheyev to suffer an injury like this because he was picking up his game offensively with 23 points in 39 games which is impressive considering he has been moved up and down the lineup and expected to play a more defensive game.

Hopefully, Johnsson’s return will come sooner rather than later because he could help fill the void a bit and be the permanent solution to play alongside Tavares or Matthews. For now, Engvall will have to be relied upon to pick up the slack which is a fortunate thing for the Leafs because it shows the depth they have despite the lack of salary cap space available.

Next: Maple Leafs prospects at 2020 World Juniors

What did you think about the injury to Mikheyev? Can Engvall fill his role in the lineup? Let us know in the comments below. 

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