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Leafs steal another, draft Korostolev with seventh round pick

The Leafs ended their 2015 draft with a bang.

Rick Denham/Getty Images

Apparently you can be big and strong with slick hands and an excellent shot and still fall to the seventh round if you're skating is in question.

With their final selection of the 2015 NHL Draft, the Leafs selected Sarnia sting sniper Nikita Korostelev, 185th overall.

Korostelev, my 34th (yeah...) ranked prospect in my final top 60 rankings with McKeen's hockey, possesses one of the best releases in the 2015 draft class.

Hampered by below average skating and a poor offensive team in Sarnia, Korostelev produced at an excellent clip, registering 53 points in 55 games, good for first in team scoring despite having played 13 less games than linmate Daniel Nikandrov, scoring at a better point per game clip than top teammate and sixth overall selection Pavel Zacha.

A clean but physical player, Korostelev is extremely disciplined despite being a frequent target of opposing teams' top checkers in the OHL this season both for his offensive abilty and his devastating hits.

The talented Russian, who also had a strong rookie season a year ago, struggles with a lumbered, heavy stride at times, but can finish from anywhere in the offensive zone with the explosiveness of his shot.

This season, Korostelev finished with the seventh highest points per game among OHL draft-eligible forwards, trailing only Connor McDavid, Mitch Marner, Dylan Strome, Blake Speers, Dante Salituro and Travis Konecny, despite struggling linemates. At even strength, he was equally impressive, trailing those same players with a 0.64 even strength points per game clip.

An offensively gifted winger with second line upside, taken in the drafts last round. The definition of a value pick.