While Mikko Lehtonen was loaned out to Jokerit to start the 2020-21 season, Alexander Barabanov remained in Canada to get acquainted with the city of Toronto. His social media featured many pictures of him in the city with Leafs work out gear, reminding me of Nikita Zaitsev’s eagerness to acclimate to Toronto.
Seeing how Lehtonen performed in his KHL stint, with 17 points in 17 games, made me long for more Barabanov viewings. The justification for him not playing is that Barabanov has been extremely busy over the past 4 seasons. In 16-17 he played 72 regular season and playoff KHL games en route to a Gagarin cup. He also added 16 appearances for Russia internationally. In 17-18 it was 59 KHL games and 23 international, including an Olympic Gold. In 18-19 he played 73 KHL games and 21 international games. Last season SKA was set for another deep playoff run before the season was cut short. I have no doubt he’ll be ready when the NHL season starts, and he’ll have the gas to play every time he’s called upon.
Barabanov’s number is 10
He has played quite a variety of roles for SKA over the past 4 KHL seasons, but Barabanov has managed 10 goals …
Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation