Maple Leafs Rookie Report: Engvall, Mikheyev Earning Trust of Teammates
A little over two weeks ago, we discussed the Pierre Engvall call-up and the Kasimir Kaskisuo’s return to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, but since then the Toronto Maple Leafs rookies have added fuel to the discussion of just how impressive they’ve been so far this season – at least some of them.
Now, two weeks removed from our last visit to the Maple Leafs rookie report, the team has put a few wins together and is slowly climbing back into the playoff discussion. While the usual suspects are still running the show offensively in Toronto, some of the team’s rookies have had their own contributions made over that span.
36 GP | 7 G | 14 A | 21 P | 4 PIM | +9
Still the star rookie for the Maple Leafs, Mikheyev has been everything that was advertised going into the season. He has 21 points in 36 games this season and continues to play all through the lineup.
While he went on a short scoreless streak that lasted five games since we last checked in, Mikheyev has goals in three straight games since and tallied an assist on Dec. 20 against the Rangers to go along with his goal – giving him four points in the last three games.
He remains the only rookie within the league’s top 10 first-year scorers without a power play point and sits fourth in NHL rookie scoring – behind only Victor Olofsson (33), Cale Makar (28) and Quinn Hughes (26).
Mikheyev has continued to see increased ice-time over the past eight games and has only been held shotless once over that span.
21 GP | 3 G | 2 A | 5 P | 4 PIM | -1
There really isn’t much to update when it comes to Trevor Moore. The forward remains out of the lineup following an injury and has yet to suit back up for the Maple Leafs.
According to TSN’s Kristen Shilton, Sheldon Keefe likes the way the team has been performing lately that it’s tough to get Moore back in the lineup.
“We’re going to see how things go here tonight,” said Keefe prior to the team’s Dec. 20 game against the Rangers, “but obviously I’m excited to get Trevor back up and running here.”
Moore could make his return to the lineup on Dec. 21 when the Maple Leafs take on the Detroit Red Wings at home. That said, Moore’s offence has been underwhelming so far this season in comparison to what was expected of the small forward.
24 GP | 3 G | 5 A | 8 P | 10 PIM | +4
As for Timashov, the 23-year-old has suited up for five games since we last checked in. While he’s not seeing as much ice-time as some of the other Maple Leafs’ rookies, Timashov has tallied two points over the past five games and has a plus-two rating.
Having only played 24 games so far this season, it’s impressive that Timashov sits second on the team in hits with 62 – behind only Jake Muzzin’s 80. He doesn’t shy away from the physicality which could be what is keeping him in the lineup at this point in time – especially because the Maple Leafs are lacking in that department.
Offensively? Timashov now has three goals and eight points in his 24 games and is second behind Mikheyev on the team in rookie scoring.
14 GP | 2 G | 4 A | 6 P | 0 PIM | +4
Maybe one of the more impressive stories on the Maple Leafs this season is young Pierre Engvall. Since the 23-year-old was called up earlier this season, he has played in all 14 games for the Maple Leafs and has two goals and six points to show for it.
Four of his points have come in the last eight games, including a two assist performance on Dec. 14 in Edmonton and a goal in the team’s most recent outing in New York against the Rangers.
Engvall is averaging over 12 minutes in the last four games and has been an integral part of the Maple Leafs penalty kill since making the jump to the NHL. Even with Moore returning to the lineup, Engvall may have solidified a spot with the big club going forward – at least for now.
The Maple Leafs return home on Dec. 21 looking for another victory as they take on the Red Wings. If they are to grab another two points, the team will rely heavily on their young guys like Engvall and Mikheyev to continue to play that depth role next to their star forwards.
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