A few weeks ago we lopped some names off of our list of players in the Leafs’ pipeline when Nikita Korostelev and Stephen Desrocher were not signed by the Maple Leafs before their rights expired.
#Leafs 2015 sixth rounder Stephen Desrocher, who went unsigned, invited to Blue Jackets Development camp.— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) June 25, 2017
Desrocher got a chance to impress a team enough to maybe get a deal after all. And now word is Korostelev has an invite too. This one’s a little unusual though. He’s coming to the Leafs development camp.
I'm told Nikita Korostelev, the #Leafs 2015 seventh round pick who went unsigned, will be at Toronto's development camp.— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) June 27, 2017
We don’t actually know where or when that development camp is, and the delay in announcing it could be the Leafs being the Leafs, or it could mean they haven’t finalized the roster because they’ve got trade discussions still going on.
We know two other invitees:
Duquette from dru invited to leafs camp— Natalie Houle (@natplay) June 26, 2017
That would be Marc-Olicier Duquetter from the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
And that is an interesting choice. Kristian Pospisil played on the same team as Eeli Tolvanen, a draft pick in the Leafs range, and was likely seen a lot by Leafs scouts. Prior to that he had one year in the QMJHL.
Okay, that’s another name, and then there’s this list:
So far, my Leafs development camp count is at 5: Austen Keating, Marc-Olivier Duquette, Reagan O'Grady, Antoine Samuel and Connor Murphy— Kyle Cushman (@LWOSCushman) June 26, 2017
Austen? Are we allowed to have and Austen and an Auston? Maybe he should get a contract just for that reason. Most players invited to development or prospect camps do not get signed, but every once in a while one shines bright enough to earn a shot.
As always, when we know more, we’ll post it.
We have another name, a very interesting fellow who was just taken in the OHL import draft by the Memorial Cup Champions Windsor Spitfires.
The Spitfires grabbed 18-year-old Russian forward Kirill Kozhevnikov with its first pick, 40th overall, in the draft and then added 16-year-old Russian defenceman Lev Starikov in the second round with the 64th pick overall.
“I’m grateful to be chosen by the managers of the team,” Kozhevnikov said. “I’m looking forward to moving to Windsor, meeting my new teammates and being a part of (the) team.”
The six-foot-two, 205-pound Kozhevnikov was rated 96th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting for this month’s draft, but was not selected.
As an undrafted OHL player, the Leafs can’t do anything but show an interest until next year’s draft when they may decide to use a draft pick on him. At that time, they would have his rights for the standard two years for CHL draftees.