Toronto Maple Leafs Surprises This Season
With players such as Engvall and Mikheyev, Toronto fans thought they knew what they had. Both players found a new level this season. Mix that with the surprising seasons from the newcomers, and Toronto has been fun to watch.
In 2019-20, Mikheyev’s rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs was going well until a wrist injury ended his regular season. He recorded eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 39 games before getting hurt.
Toronto decided to re-sign Mikheyev to a two-year deal that off-season. Unfortunately for Mikheyev, his second season with the team was marked with injuries and little playing time. It left him feeling underappreciated, and he asked Toronto GM Kyle Dubas for a trade.
Dubas informed Mikheyev that the team would not be accepting his trade request and told him that they still value him on this team. That turned out to be a wise decision by Dubas, as Toronto has benefited from Mikheyev staying.
Mikheyev has turned into a 20-goal scorer this season and has earned the trust of his coaching staff. He will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. So this could be his last season as a Maple Leaf.
Like Mikheyev, this is Engvall’s third season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has also exceeded expectations this season. Engvall has recorded 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 76 games. His previous best was 15 points in 48 games during his rookie season.
His points are impressive, but that’s not all that he brings to this team. Engvall’s play on the penalty kill is a key reason it has been so good this season. He can control the puck in the offensive zone and keep the cycle going.
Due to the improvements in his game, he has earned the trust of the coaching staff. Engvall has seen an increase in his ice time because of this. He has become a vital member of this team as they head into the playoffs next week.