If, as a Toronto Maple Leafs’ fan, you’re interested in those players who have once played with the team, then you’re in luck. Mark November 12, 2022, on your calendars. That’s the date two former Maple Leafs’ players – Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev – return to Scotiabank Centre ice.
Travis Dermott Returning Home to Toronto
Both young players will be playing for the Vancouver Canucks that evening. Dermott is a young defenceman who played for eight seasons in the Maple Leafs’ organization. He’s a hometown boy who the Maple Leafs drafted in 2015. He even won the 2018 Calder cup playing with the Toronto Marlies. It will be great to see him back on the ice.
Dermott really never had a chance to become a top-four defenceman with the Maple Leafs, but he was a good solid depth player for the team. I particularly was a fan of his, and I thought he had a huge upside that never was quite fulfilled in his hometown.
Dermott was one of those players who simply came to the end of the line in Toronto and general manager Kyle Dubas, which is his way, wanted to help his young defenseman get a fresh start somewhere – and that somewhere was in Vancouver with the Canucks. Expect cheering for Dermott when he first takes the ice against his former team.
While Ilya Mikheyev Wasn’t from Toronto, He Seemed to Feel at Home Here
The other Maple Leafs’ player who will be on the same Canucks’ team is Mikheyev. He had a better run in Toronto than his new teammate. However, he exited this offseason to the Pacific coast.
During his time in Toronto, Mikheyev was a huge fan favourite. He was easy in an interview and seemed intelligently naïve. He simply was endearing to fans – he was hard not to like.
Mikheyev also was an incredibly fast player and was quick to jump on turnovers and turn them up ice to his team’s advantage. He worked especially well together with last season’s Maple Leafs’ third line of center David Kampf and another winger Pierre Engvall. He added a good deal of offence to that line as well.
It will be hard to say how Mikheyev will do in Vancouver. He might not have the same level of elite linemates there that he did with the Maple Leafs. However, he could be good enough by himself to generate offence. It would be a surprise if he did not score 20 goals this season.
Mikheyev Played Himself Out of Toronto’s Ability to Pay
MiKheyev was too good to stay in Toronto. He simply played himself out of a job in Toronto. Because of his high-end talent, he would have demanded too much money to stick around. I for one hope that he finds more suitable conditions in Vancouver.