30-Year-Old Left Wing – Toronto Maple Leafs
Leo Komarov Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $11.8 million deal with the Leafs in July of 2014.
Komarov scored a goal and added a shorthanded assist in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Panthers.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Uncle Leo is coming off his best NHL season it earned him a selection to the NHL All-Star Game and his career arc will continue upward in 2016-17. Komarov is a Mike Babcock kind of guy. His 53.3 CF% (Corsi For Percentage) was among the Leafs' best last year and his dogged pursuit of the puck drags his offensive-minded linemates along for the ride they just play harder with Uncle Leo on their wing. Komarov is going to suit up on the right side of a scoring line and he'll see time in front of the net on the second power-play unit. A 20-20 season is within reach. And along with that will come 300 hits if he can stay out of the infirmary. No guarantees on that, though Komarov's hard-nosed style means he'll miss 15-20 games each year. Have a handcuff ready.
It was a tale of two seasons for Komarov in 2014-15. Before suffering a concussion at the end of November, the hard-nosed forward was a revelation on the ice, delivering 16 points in 23 games. But he struggled upon his return and delivered just 10 points in his final 39 contests. His 250 hits were a high point for those in specialty leagues, but physicality was about all he was able to consistently deliver over the course of the season. If hes healthy, Komarov will win the right-wing gig on the fourth line alongside Mark Arcobello. And this year, the Leafs will play their fourth line a whole lot more than they did in the Randy Carlyle days. However, his health and some trouble with the law in Finland could find him fighting for his hockey life. Draft him only if he locks down the job and your league counts hits.
Komarov is a checking-line beast. He is relentless on the forecheck and is the kind of player that makes opposing defenders wince when the puck gets dumped into their zone. He creates loose pucks with his bone-crushing hits, but he's not exactly an offensive stud. He'll deliver a passable eight to ten goals and as many as 20-25 points, but will bring you 225-250 hits without taking stupid penalties along the way. Bottom line: he'll be electric on the Leafs' fourth line and on the penalty kill, but he won't bring you a fantasy championship any time soon.
Komarov has a shot at a job on the Leafs' bottom two lines this season. He's 25 and coming off a World Championship victory with Finland in 2011 and a KHL championship this past spring. He's 5-11 and 198 pounds, and he knows how to be a pro. He has real leadership abilities and is willing to do whatever it takes -- hit, fore-check, throw grit or score -- on every shift. His NHL value will come as a lunch bucket type; his fantasy value will mirror that.
Komarov profiles as a checking-line player, much like Jarkko Ruutu -- skilled but dynamic and obnoxious, and really hard to play against. He spent the past three seasons with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL where he played 46 games last season, scoring 11 goals and 13 assists with 58 penalty minutes. He was second on the team in penalty minutes and third in points.