Countdown to Camp is a series looking at each player under contract to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the team’s unsigned prospects, in lead up to the start of the 2020/21 season.
Another Toronto Maple Leafs season has come and gone and for Leafs fans, the countdown to the start of the 2020/21 campaign is on. We may still have Stanley Cup playoff action on TV, but with an abbreviated offseason coming up the new season is much closer than it feels.
The NHL has a tentative start date for the opening of 2020/21 training camps set for November 17, giving us a little less than three months before the Toronto Maple Leafs will be back on ice.
In that time much will happen, from the entry draft where we expect to see 10 new names added to the organization, to free agency and the decisions to be made there, and of course the inevitable trades that will occur in the offseason.
The Countdown to Camp series returns for 2020 today, getting a bit of a jump on things before we enter the chaos that is the offseason.
We begin things the same way we did last year with prospect Mikhail Abramov, who earned an entry-level contract less than a year after being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Profile (via EliteProspects)
Age: 19 (3/26/01)
Weight: 161 lbs
2019-20 Season in Review
Abramov entered the Toronto Maple Leafs organization last summer when he was selected in the fourth round, 115th overall.
Coming off of a good first year in the QMJHL with 54 points in 62 games, Abramov was looking to take another step and become one of the most dangerous attackers in the league. He was going to have to do so largely by himself, as Victoriaville did not have much in terms of offensive talent outside of Abramov and fellow 2019 draft pick Egor Serdyuk.
Any expectations of Abramov heading into the season were blown out of the water. Even with a dip in productivity from his linemate Serdyuk, Abramov emerged as a premier talent in the QMJHL and took a major step forward in his goal scoring.
Abramov nearly doubled his goal output from 2018-19, jumping from 16 goals in his maiden QMJHL season to 35. That was good enough to put him in a tie for tenth league-wide in goals. His assist totals slightly improved as well, putting his overall production up 22 points from 54 in 2018-19 to 76 this past year in just one more game.
A key for Abramov this year was his consistency. Despite a lack of talent around him in the lineup, which we will take a closer look at later, Abramov was able to find the scoresheet with regularity. His longest pointless streak was just five games, coming very early in the season from October 4 through October 14.
Looking at his stats broken down by month, you can really start to see how consistent Abramov was for Victoriaville. He started strong in September and October but really found another gear once he got into the swing of the season. He was lights out November through January, in which he saw a 14 game point streak from January 19 through to February 23.
Unlike 2018-19, Abramov did not make any competitive appearances internationally for Russia. He was passed over for both the World Juniors and the Canada/Russia series, though he will almost certainly be a significant piece on both teams in 2020 if they do occur.
Abramov’s season highlight came as the QMJHL season came to a close, as on March 10, he officially signed his entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, capping off what was a spectacular Draft+1 campaign from the 19-year-old Russian.