Obviously, forward Ilya Mikheyev is fully recovered from a wrist laceration he suffered in late December. How do we know? Today members of the Toronto media voted Mikheyev to be the Phase 3 MVP of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ summer training camp.
In fact, Mikheyev looks now to be even better than the first 39 games he played as a rookie before his wrist was cut by a skate in New Jersey. Although he played well before the injury (he scored eight goals and 23 points), he looks even better now in his return.
He’ll likely be rewarded with being a top-six player for the team. Good for him: he’s come a long way.
Mikheyev’s been an absolute standout performer during the Maple Leafs’ camp held during the Phase 3 of the NHL Return to Play Program. He has especially looked strong on a line with Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
Today a Hat Trick to Lead His Team to the Win
Today, during the last scrimmage, the 25-year-old Russian rookie had a particularly impressive day. He had a hat trick during his team’s final inter-squad scrimmage. It will be tough now to keep the rookie winger out of the team’s lineup. He’s looked that poised. He seems to have great chemistry with Tavares and led the training camp with five goals scored.
There’s no doubt that Mikheyev is a hard worker and a great fit with his new line. Given the combination of skill and work ethic he exudes, the Russian rookie will likely continue to play well and improve his all-around game.
Sheldon Keefe Spins Mikheyev Pretty Good
Head coach Sheldon Keefe noted: “I thought he was excellent. Probably more than anybody, he is really excited and happy to be back here playing in a team environment.”
Keefe added: “He and his line, I thought, were really good. They’re playing with lots of pace and making lots of plays and had chemistry. That means a lot.” (from Mikheyev emerges from group of talented Leafs forwards to dominate through scrimmages,” Terry Koshan, The Chronicle Herald, 23/07/20).
What’s Likely with Mikheyev in the Play-In Series?
It will be tough to get Mikheyev out of the top-six during this postseason. There’s a good chance general manager Kyle Dubas will push hard to sign his hospital buddy – they spent lots of time together after Mikheyev’s surgery in New Jersey – watching lots of soccer Dubas noted.
I have to believe Mikheyev will be in Toronto a long time. Good luck in this play-in series.
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