The Toronto Maple Leafs have their third prospect to win a championship in their respective league, joining Pontus Holmberg’s SHL championship and Joe Miller’s USHL championship. On Saturday afternoon, Mikhail Abramov captained the Victoriaville Tigres on a remarkable championship run that saw them pull off two major upsets over the two best regular season teams in the QMJHL.
Charlottetown and Val-d’Or were a combined 64-8-2-2 this season, with .875 and .861 win percentages respectively. The third place team had a .672 win percentage, for reference. Victoriaville, after a weird season that saw them play the fewest games in the league (26) due to the pandemic, finished sixth in the league in the regular season with a 16-9-1 record (.635). Victoriaville beat both Charlottetown and Val-d’Or in successive series to win the championship.
Bravo les @TigresVicto ! pic.twitter.com/r0ppf1CJDS— Mikaël Lalancette (@MikLalancette) June 5, 2021
Leading the way was their captain, Mikhail Abramov. He finished second for the playoff lead in points with 24 in 19 game. He also might have become the first European captain in QMJHL (or even CHL) history to win a league championship.
If Victoriaville wins today, unless my memory is mistaken, Mikhail Abramov will become the first European captain to win a QMJHL championship (CHL too ?) #LeafsForever https://t.co/YikZRyTJZq— Jérôme Bérubé (@Jerome_Berube) June 5, 2021
In the deciding game this afternoon, he led the Tigres with his two-way play. He scored a big goal in the first period when the game was tied 1-1, picking off a pass between the opponent’s defensemen and heading on a breakaway. He drew a penalty shot, and scored on the attempt with a slick move which you can see above.
Abramov had a breakout season last year, finishing 15th in the league in points (76) and 12th in goals (35), despite his next closest teammate finishing 35 points behind him. After that season we collectively moved him up to 14th in our most recent T25U25 rankings. This year, the pandemic shortened season interrupted the team’s games constantly. Abramov again led his team with 30 points in 25 games, but Victoriaville helped him out going into the playoffs by making three significant trade acquisitions: Shawn Element, Alex Beaucage, and Benjamin Tardiff.
But Abramov came up big for Victoriaville again and again during their playoff run. He scored winning goals, he set up overtime goals, he took important faceoffs, and had some moments where he looked like he just decided he wasn’t going to be stopped.
It’s a fine way for Abramov to finish his QMJHL career. At 20 years old, he will be eligible to join the Toronto Marlies in the AHL. He finishes as his team’s captain, leading scorer, and a QMJHL champion. Congrats from PPP to Mikhail Abramov!
Mikhail Abramov (#LeafsForever) with a beautiful assist on Victoriaville’s overtime winner today.— Josh Simpson (@joshsimpson77) May 10, 2021
Second round series is tied 1-1. pic.twitter.com/0BB8Sd36qc
#LeafsForever prospect Mikhail Abramov scored this beautiful goal and added four assists in Victoriaville’s 6-3 victory on Sunday.— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) April 26, 2021
Victoriaville leads their opening round playoff series with Rouyn-Noranda 2-0. pic.twitter.com/IBuXl0e483
Really nice assist by #LeafsForever prospect Mikhail Abramov: pic.twitter.com/rEpbu5FPCw— Nick Richard (@_NickRichard) April 24, 2021
Puck stripped by Mikhail Abramov, fed over to Benjamin Tardif, and the @TigresVicto have doubled their lead! 🐯 #PresidentCup pic.twitter.com/oyFy8T1XII— QMJHL 😷 (@QMJHL) June 4, 2021