Ilya Mikheyev finally taking his chance ahead of free agency

Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev has three goals in his last four games, a mark he took 24 games to reach last season. The Russian is a unrestricted free agent at the end of the season but if he produces in the playoffs, Toronto fans won't mind.

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Video Transcript

- Ilya "The Cobra" Mikheyev is scoring goals. No, there's no hyperbole, there's no emphasis there, he's scoring goals. Something that he couldn't do a lot last year. Break away after break away, after break away, seems like he wasn't able to find the back of the net. And now, he returns to the lineup and has three goals, which is hilarious because last year it took him 24 games to get three goals.

But I think the funny thing or the interesting thing about Mikheyev is that any time he's on the ice-- no, not so much the last game against Colorado. But when he's on the ice, he's just firing. Any opportunity he has to shoot the puck, he's taking those shots.

But now that he's starting to produce a little more-- you know, not only scoring goals. He's also getting some assists on the powerplay-- now, the question is what happens in the summer? Does he walk away as a UFA? For me, I don't really care, to be honest with you.

I mean, sure, would it be cool to have Ilya Mikheyev still in the lineup, you know, when he's excelling defensively and scoring goals? For sure. But if he ends up walking away and signing with another team, am I going to be upset? No, not really.

I think you have to set yourself up as an organization to be OK with losing depth players. And yeah, Mikheyev has gotten his chance in the top six, but I think he-- well, on this team, at least-- he fits more in the third line role. I think the Leafs have a lot of players that can kind of fill in that spot. So great, Mikheyev. Keep scoring. Keep using that COVID strike. And you know, maybe you can score a playoff goal or two.

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