To say that Ilya Mikheyev‘s rookie season was eventful would be putting it lightly.
He began the season by taking a selfie with Mike Babcock near a gas station, scored his debut game, and then expressed confusion over why Canadians didn’t like soup. His role and value to the Leafs grew as the year progressed, got more comfortable on North American ice, and improved his play after the coaching change. By all accounts, he was on track to post solid numbers and play a factor in the team’s success.
It all came to a screeching halt during a December game against the New Jersey Devils where Mikheyev’s wrist was cut open by Jesper Bratt’s skate. Prior to this, he had registered 8 goals, 15 assists, and 23 points in 39 games. His season appeared to be over and his career was in jeopardy. While his teammates struggled to fill the void in his absence, he quietly healed and worked on his craft once his wrist recovered. The pause gave him a chance to fully regain strength and improve on the ice, providing him extra motivation to prove his importance to the Leafs.
Once training …
Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation