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Nikita Zaitsev named one of top two defencemen at 2016 IIHF World Championship

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The Leafs saw some good performances out of their players this tournament!

Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images

It's been a pretty great World Championship this year, hasn't it? Morgan Rielly comes away with a gold medal, Leo Komarov with a silver, and future Maple Leaf Nikita Zaitsev gets a bronze - and also, the honour of being named one of the tournament's top two defencemen, as by the media.

The other tournament All-Stars were Canada's Michael Matheson, Russia's Vadim Shipachyov, and Finland's Mikko Koskinen, Patrik Laine, and Mikael Granlund.

Zaitsev scored one goal and added three assists for four points through 10 games en route to his bronze medal. His +12 goal differential was tied for the Russian lead, and his 67.8% corsi for was one of the best on the Russian squad. He averaged 15:31 a game, which was a bit on the lower side for Russian defencemen - but he was still one of their more productive blueliners.

The Leafs signed Zaitsev to a one-year contract back on May 2, and can probably look forward to him bolstering the blueline through the 2016-17 season!