Coming in at number 13, and taking one of the largest jumps from the 2015 list to this years, is QMJHL and Swedish junior star Dmytro Timashov! I hope I haven’t oversold him already.
There’s lots to look at with this kid so let’s get the voting out of the way early.
|Scott Wheeler||67sound||Birky||Arvind||elseldo||gunnar carlsson||Achariya|
|JP Nikota||Species 1967||Steve Burtch||Katya Knappe||AT Fulemin||50 Mission Cap||Chris H|
Voting ranged from 20th by Katya and Mike to 9th by Birky. A player who has divided the voters each year he was eligible; he went from Not Ranked to 14th last year, but is pushing hard to make a name for himself no matter where he plays.
To sum him up quickly, I’d say Timashov is a speedy winger who pushes himself hard to lead plays into the offensive zone and has the skills to develop into a player who can do it all: score, pass, skate, stick handle, and take punishment.
He has great eyes for the game, has set the stage for many goals in the Q, and at this point he has a spot on the Marlies locked down.
Skating isn’t an issue at the junior level at all from my point of view, he’s able to get around the rink and never lag behind the opposition.
Stick handling is the best skill to have and Timashov has that one down pat. He’s able to get around players in tight situations, and has puck control like a seasoned NHLer. Last season he put up PPG numbers in short tournaments: 17 points in 17 games overall with Sweden, 28 points in 21 QMJHL playoffs games, and PPG+ over the long haul, 175 points in 123 QMJHL games.
"I think people have noticed how good he is," Hunter said Tuesday on a conference call. "I don't think he was getting recognition. Now I think people see he's a good prospect for the Leafs. The sky is the limit. He's got more room to grow as a player. He sure showed his ability and talent in this tournament."
Timashov uses his smarts to find players in perfect spots for passes, can dazzle goalies with his wrist shot, and will be a force for years to come in the Leafs organization.
Timashov will most likely start the year with the Marlies, and if there’s a chance, I’d put my words out there to be used against me and say he’ll make his NHL debut later in this upcoming season.
Timashov’s game starts with his feet and his unbelievable breakout speed. Although small in stature, Timashov has a thick lower body and uses it to accelerate to full speed in a stride or two.
He thinks and sees the game incredibly well. Timashov has a quick and efficient wrist shot that can fool goalies, but his calling card to the NHL will be his elite level stick handling that will make him an absolute weapon in the shootout.
He’s a world-class playmaker and creator. He led all Swedish Juniors his age or younger in assists, then did the same in the Q. Those are two systems famous for the playmakers they’ve produced, and Timashov just out-produced all his competitors.
He can play up at the level of the most talented players. He helped both Nylander and Kempe thrive, and then Erne and Duclair.
He can play against tough competition. The Leafs saw him perform well at the Memorial Cup against Leon Draisaitl, Josh Morrissey, Nick Merkley, Michael Dal Colle and others. They’ve also seen him in International play for Sweden, averaging over 0.8 PPG.
He’s driven. From Sweden, Leaf scouts knew he had already handled moving to another country, learning a third language, and picking up hockey late. And they’ll have seen that this kid hasn’t been handed any privileges. In fact, as the son of a single mother and an immigrant, he’s always had to learn it, and earn it.
So the Leafs have a kid who has put up elite even strength scoring numbers and who sees a significant positive shift in his team's goals for percentage when he's on the ice. He's done this on two different teams this season, which is just his second season playing in North America. He's not very tall but already has an NHL-ready build.
Popular opinion is high on Timashov, and he can live up to that hype.