Maple Leafs Rumors: Ilya Mikheyev asked for trade due to lack of playing time

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Ilya Mikheyev in 2019 as an undrafted player out of the KHL. At the time, he was 25 years-old and just completed his 4th season with Avangard.

During his years in the KHL, the 6-2, 194 lbs forward registered 62 goals and 122 points in 224 games. He was also a first team All-Star in his final season.

Since joining the Leafs, he’s played in 93 games notching 40 points while averaging 14:47 of ice time over two seasons. That doesn’t appear to be enough for the 26 year-old.

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NHL Rumors: Mikheyev has asked for a trade

Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Mikheyev asked for a trade at the end of this season. The forward is looking for a bigger role and wants more ice time.

According to several sources, Toronto winger Ilya Mikheyev asked for a trade following the 2020-21 season. But, what is important to the story is that the Maple Leafs made it clear they do not want to accommodate this request. With Zach Hyman and Joe Thornton gone from the left wing, the organization told Mikheyev it considers him a key part of their team and are counting on him to have a big year.

maple leafs rumors
May 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Ilya Mikheyev (65) during the warm-up session before the game three against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Maple Leafs have already told him and his agent Dan Milstein that they will not be trading him. Mikheyev is in the final year of his contract that comes with a $1.645M cap hit. He will be a UFA at the end of this season.

In fairness to the Leafs, Mikheyev has been given a fair amount of ice time when you look at how stacked the roster is at forward. This upcoming campaign could be a big one for him as the loss of Zach Hyman to the Oilers provides him with a huge opportunity to showcase his talents.