Toronto Maple Leafs 2021 NHL Entry Draft Update

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: (l-r) Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 23: (l-r) Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Sep 18, 2018; Lucan, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas   Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Vyacheslav Peksa

Goaltender

6’2 163 lbs

Irbis Kazan (MHL)

By far the strangest pick at the draft table was goaltender Vyacheslav Peksa, who the Leafs selected in the sixth round, 185th overall. This was partially due to middling results on the MHL’s Irbis Kazan, the KHL junior squad for the Ak Bars Kazan where he was the back-up for Leafs prospect Artur Akhtyamov some games. (stats up to date as of January 15, and from  hockeyreferece.com).

After posting a .909% save percentage in 17 games last season, Peksa has vastly improved. This season, in 43 games he has posted a .934% save percentage, good for seventh in the entire league. He’s also played in 13 more games than the next closest goalie in the top 10. In fact, if you adjust for goalies who’ve played 20 or more games, Peksa moves all the way up to 3rd in the entire MHL.

On his own team, the skill and games played discrepancy is even greater. He holds the best save percentage by a wide margin, being the only goalie above a .890% and is the only goalie to have played more than four games.

It will be interesting to see if his play and games played is sustainable, but given he is holding pretty steady with a .920% save percentage over his last five games and a .931% over his last 10, I expect him to be fine. He’ll be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Leafs Top 10 Prospects and System Overview. dark. Next

As I mentioned before he still sits behind fellow Leafs prospect Artur Akhtyamov and is an entire year younger, thus will likely come over after Akhytamov and is likely a few years away at best.