Former Toronto Maple Leafs Player Traded by Canucks

Former GM Kyle Dubas made the right decision not bringing back Ilya Mikheyev and has saved the Maple Leafs from cap trouble.
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers - Game Four
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers - Game Four / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

During this past Stanley Cup Finals, Toronto Maple Leafs fans were teased by seeing several former players showcasing their skills.

Specifically, Zach Hyman who left the Toronto Maple Leafs three years ago dominated during the Oilers run with 15 playoff goals after collecting 54 during the regular season. Not re-signing the former University of Michigan graduate has brought several laughs from Edmonton Oilers fans for the "mistake" of not bringing him back.

However, for the one Zach Hyman that did not return there have been several other free agents that the Maple Leafs have not brought back and has proven to be the right decision.

The most recent player to join the ranks of the Frederik Andersen's and Jake Gardiner's is 2022 free agent Ilya Mikheyev.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs Player Bought Out by Canucks

When Hyman left for Edmonton he was coming off a 15-goal in 43 game season, while adding just one point in a seven game playoff series. One year later, Mikheyev was coming off a better season that saw him collect 21-goals in 53 game 2021-22 season, while adding in four points in a seven game playoff series loss.

Maple Leafs management could have panicked after losing Hyman the year before and tried overpaying to keep the Russian winger, however, GM Kyle Dubas decided not to go as high as the Vancouver Canucks on a contract offer and Mikheyev signed on the west coast.

The deal with Mikheyev was for four years at $4.75 Million per season that even came with a modified not trade clause. The deal now looks like a mistake for the Canucks as Wednesday evening GM Patrick Allvin traded their forward to the Chicago Blackhawks, had to retain salary and give up second round pick.

In total the deal works out the Hawks get Ilya Mikheyev with 15% of his salary retained by the Canucks, a second round pick and pending free agent Sam Lafferty for a fourth round pick. Lafferty is free to sign wherever he likes come July 1 so it gives the Blackhawks a couple days to try to work out a deal.

Things have not gone so smoothly for Mikheyev since leaving Toronto. In his first season as he missed some time when the season opened and then did not play after the start of February finishing with just 46 games and collecting 13 goals.

In year two, Mikheyev played almost the entire season, however collected just 11 goals and 31 points, while not registering a point in any of the 11 playoff games.


With the Canucks now moving on from the former Maple Leafs forward, they will be on the hook for $712,500 of his cap hit for the next two seasons.