With the 115th overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Mikhail Abramov from the Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL. He’s an 18 year old Russian who shoots right handed, plays a bit of center, and is a “Dubas” pick at 5’10” and a slim 161 pounds.
The Scouting Report
Abramov was ranked on just about every draft rankerout there, ranging from 53rd (hockeyprospect.com) to 185th (McKeens).
Why was hockeyprospect.com so high on him? they had this to say about him after seeing a mix of his games in the QMJHL and in international play:
Abramov is a good skater, has quick feet and is fluid on his skates. He encountered some difficulty along the boards when facing Charlottetown defensemen... He showed some good awareness in the defensive zone and supported his defense well down low. He also showed good anticipation to read plays.
Meanwhile, NextGen Prospects had this to say:
Abramov is an energetic player that stays involved in the play. He pressures the puck when opponents have it, supports the puck well when teammates have it, and controls it well when it’s on his own stick. He has no issues taking passes in stride, on his backhand, off his skates, from behind, or off a bank off the boards.
The Moscow-born winger looks to be more of a distributor than a finisher. He doesn’t get much power behind his shot, and as such isn’t a threat to score from range. Up close, however, he can be dangerous
Though he played centre all season and the position benefits his ability to hang onto the puck, delay and find the open teammate, given his size, I suspect that he will have to switch to the wing to be successful at the next level (especially because faceoffs are already not a strength at the junior level). Abramov has the skill to make that move though. He’s evasive along the wall, stepping around defenders with sharp edgework and the ability to open up his hips and avoid contact, plus his outside-in vision would complement a shooting centre who’s able to get to the slot quite well. I’d like to see Abramov use his shot a little more because he showed real flashes this season of effortlessly picking corners of the net and surprising goalies with how quickly it snaps off of his blade despite not having the strength to power it past them. He obviously needs to get stronger, too. Nonetheless, players with Abramov’s skill level are worthwhile picks in round 4-7 — and he’s likely to be there due to concerns about his size.
At 5’10” he’s not exactly super small, but it’s not tall either. The bigger concern for him is only being 161 pounds, but you have to think that being able to add some muscle over the next few years is something that he can work on pretty easily. As he does so you might expect him to be a little more tenacious in puck battles and maybe more explosive oo.
Let’s see what people on Twitter have to say about him:
Leafs take LW Mikhail Abramov at 115.— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) June 22, 2019
Another player in my top 62, though he was exactly #62.
Had a great Hlinka, and I thought he would be a second round pick at the time. Third leading scorer on a below average team in the Q, as a rookie. Really needs to put on weight.
Uh. The Leafs just picked my BPA again. Mikhail Abramov, No. 53 on my board, at 115.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 22, 2019
Abramov to Toronto, one of my favorite out of the QMJHL. Super smart and competitve. Excellent playmaker/vision, has a good shot and started to using it more in the 2nd half of the season (12 of his 16 goals came in the 2nd half). We had him 53.— Jérôme Bérubé (@Jerome_Berube) June 22, 2019