Sweden’s Dmytro Timashov, impressing Leafs management in a lot of ways this season

Leafs 2015 draft pick Dmytro Timashov has 53 points in 29 games with the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts this season - Image courtesy of Getty Images

Leafs 2015 draft pick Dmytro Timashov has 53 points in 29 games with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts this season – Image courtesy of Getty Images

January 2, 2016

TORONTO – Prospect Dmytro Timashov is showing that last year’s breakout season in North America wasn’t because of who he was surrounded with, and that’s left Maple Leafs management optimistic about his future.

Timashov was named QMJHL rookie of the year after leading the highly-skilled Quebec Remparts in scoring with 90 points in 66 games and Toronto went on to select him in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Many of Quebec’s top players moved on this year after a Memorial Cup push, though, leaving Timashov to prove what he could do with a lesser talented roster to support him.

This season the 19-year-old forward has responded with an even higher point-production rate (1.95 per game) and was top five in league scoring before leaving to join Sweden at the 2016 world juniors.

“He had a great offensive year last year and we were happy to select him. He’s backed up what he did last year with a lower quality of teammates around him,” said Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas.

“He’s been excellent for them, having a great year, pushing them to stay real competitive despite losing a lot of players.”

Timashov, who was born in Ukraine but moved to Sweden in his youth, has 18 goals and 53 points in 29 games so far this year with the Remparts and has shown no signs of letting up with stiffer competition at the world juniors.

He has six points in five games for Sweden through the quarter-finals and came up big with two goals and an assist against Switzerland to open the tournament after fellow prospect William Nylander left the game with an injury.

Timashov, five-foot-10 190 pounds, has statistically delivered for both Quebec and Sweden this year, but there’s other attributes that have Dubas hopeful that he’s a player that has potential to one day be part of the Leafs.

“There’s leadership, he’s in excellent condition, does everything the right way,” said Dubas. “(He) lives on his own, very mature. Acts like a pro already, very exciting for us.”

Timashov, who is a great skater with impressive stickhandling skills and vision, has a chance to be the highest scoring of Toronto’s five prospects at the world juniors as he’s currently tied with Mitch Marner for the lead.

Finland’s Kasperi Kapanen has one goal and one assist and will face Timashov in the semifinals.

KYLE CICERELLA

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