Toronto Maple Leafs December European Prospect Update

KAZAN, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 1, 2019: Ak Bars Kazan's Vladislav Kara (L) and Dynamo Moscow's Vadim Shipachev in a 2019/2020 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match between Ak Bars Kazan and Dynamo Moscow at Tatneft Arena. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)
KAZAN, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 1, 2019: Ak Bars Kazan's Vladislav Kara (L) and Dynamo Moscow's Vadim Shipachev in a 2019/2020 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match between Ak Bars Kazan and Dynamo Moscow at Tatneft Arena. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 4, 2019: SKA St Petersburg’s Danila Galenyuk (L) and Ak Bars Kazan’s Vladislav Kara fight in the 2019/20 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match between SKA St Petersburg and Ak Bars Kazan at the Ice Palace. Peter Kovalev/TASS (Photo by Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 4, 2019: SKA St Petersburg’s Danila Galenyuk (L) and Ak Bars Kazan’s Vladislav Kara fight in the 2019/20 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match between SKA St Petersburg and Ak Bars Kazan at the Ice Palace. Peter Kovalev/TASS (Photo by Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images) /

Russia – VHL

Vladislav Kara
Drafted – 2017, Round 4, #124
Age-21, Winger, 6’2, 205lbs

Vladislav Kara has been a real cause of optimism over the past month for his KHL side Ak Bars Kazan. Since earning his call-up from the VHL, he has notched a very respectable 8 points (4-4-8) in just 15 games.

Considering Vladi only put up 5 points in the KHL last season, having played 41 games, this is a huge improvement in his numbers already. Kara’s deployment is very much that of a bottom 6 forward but considering his team sit comfortably atop the KHL standings, he is in a good position going forward.

If Kara can maintain his role with Kazan, he would surely be drawing the interest of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization for the beginning of next season. Given the Toronto Maple Leafs track record of breaking Europeans in with the Marlies, Kara has an opportunity to go from a forgotten pick to a name of interest.

 
Semyon Kizimov
Drafted – 2018, Round 7, #211
Age-19, Right Winger, 6’0, 179lbs

Kizimov’s season began horribly, at the end of October he had only managed 2 points in 19 games in the VHL. Numbers like that wouldn’t be good enough for a spot on the Newfoundland Growlers, let alone consideration anywhere else.

At the beginning of December Kizimov is at a slightly improved 5 points (3-2-5) in 27 games. His regression this season makes it difficult to see how he holds any value to the organisation, especially considering his game is that of a scoring winger.

This is another wait and see, likely with a lot more waiting than seeing.