Drafted two years ago, and making his professional debut last fall with the Toronto Marlies, Dmytro Timashov is a player on the rise in the Maple Leafs organization. The Marlies will see him develop and grow for another season in 2017-18.

Last year in our Top 25 rankings he made our list at #13, after a season in the QMJHL where he split time with the Quebec Remparts and Shawinigan Cataractes. In his post-draft year he put up 85 points in 57 games. This represented a 1.5PPG scoring pace, better than the 1.4PPG he put up the year before (90 points in 66 games).

Timashov is a skilled playmaker, putting up more assists than goals throughout his hockey career - in the Q, the AHL, and in league / national team play in Sweden. He can skate, he can pass, he can stick handle. Timashov has it all.

So why did the fall eight spots in our rankings? A player with one of the largest gaps in voting, (Katya had him at 24 while Jared and Brigstew put him at number 12), it shows the polarizing opinions people have about the 21 year old winger.

I ranked Timashov at 20 last year, so dropping him to 24 isn’t much considering there have been multiple players added to the Leafs roster in the interim.

I had Trevor Moore, who was not ranked, at 23 and ahead of Timashov. I think Moore is better but Timashov is more famous, but I’m not seeing a large probability that either of them makes the NHL which is why I have them so low.  Carl Grundström came in and blew the doors off the moribund Marlies in the playoffs.  He could compete at the AHL level against tough competition without any sort of easing in unlike many of the players he shoved out of the spotlight.

Timashov, in particular, has a set of offensive skills that are very nice. He had a very high shot rate and a low shooting percentage on the Marlies, which we should take into account, but he cannot get himself to the offensive zone to do these nice things.

I think he will suffer the fate of many a good scorer in junior hockey: He will discover he’s not good enough offensively to get out of the AHL and he lacks any other aspect to his game to mitigate that. — Katya

In his first season with the Marlies, his first season out of the junior leagues, his production dropped from 85 points in the Q to just 24 (11G, 13A), placing him 56th in AHL rookie scoring, behind teammates Trevor Moore (33 points) and defenseman Andrew Nielsen (39 points), and tied with Travis Dermott.

2014-15Québec RempartsQMJHL6619719054Playoffs223151818
2015-16Québec RempartsQMJHL2918355351
Shawinigan CataractesQMJHL284283228Playoffs2113152840
Sweden U20WJC-2072572
Sweden U20 (all)International-Jr17314174
2016-17Toronto MarliesAHL6311132432Playoffs60002

This drop off in scoring hurt him, but there were other factors at play here as well, such as ice time and opportunity. In his scrum on locker clean out day with the Marlies, head coach Sheldon Keefe addressed this (via Maple Leafs Hot Stove):

Q: Who stands out on the roster as someone who improved maybe the most out of everybody?

Keefe: We talk about improvement from the start of the season. The guys I look at are Timashov and Moore. Those are two young first-year players that early in the season really struggled. A lot of it was through lack of opportunity. All of a sudden, going from top players on other teams to now the reality of playing lower in the lineup and really having to struggle for your minutes and compete for your minutes and be good defensively, I think a lot of that caught them off guard. They were not close, frankly, but they stuck with it and when injuries happened and they got more opportunity they showed they were ready for it and took advantage of those opportunities and were better players because of that down the stretch. When Kapanen, Leipsic and these guys come back in the lineup, they get shuffled down a little bit and I thought they were better players because of that. I think they leave now with a much better understanding of what it takes to play every single day and to be reliable and competitive. Those guys stand out in terms of improvement. I know Timashov ends up out of the lineup late in the playoffs here and a lot of that is attributed to Carl Grundstrom and his arrival and how he played for us, but I think both players leave here with a better sense of what they need to do.

I had him ranked at 18th, ahead of the 20th spot where he landed because of the factors above: lower production caused by a drop in the lineup that he wasn't used to.  I also liked a couple other players better who are just coming out of junior themselves, and most likely will suffer the same fate as Timashov next season. I also ranked some players who were more likely to see NHL ice sooner. Timashov was one of my favourites to follow when he was in the Q, so I’m rooting for him the whole way.

Timashov is focused on growing his game at this level, and will do what it takes to stay. After all, he’s enjoying his time here:

Toronto is the best place to be. You have all the resources here to get better. I’m just really proud to be here.