Report: Maple Leafs Meet With Breakout Russian Forward

25-year-old Maxim Tsyplakov has been toiling away for Moscow Spartak for the past seven years, largely flying under the radar—until now. He's exploded this season for 31 goals in 59 games with a plus-minus of +15. He's caught the eye of at least a dozen NHL teams, as his contract is set to expire after the season.

He would be eligible for a one-year entry level NHL contract at $925,000 this summer. 

According to a report in The Athletic, his agent Alexander Chernykh said that he and Tsyplakov had an extensive meeting with senior members of the Toronto Maple Leafs' front office last week over Zoom.

At 6'2", 190 pounds, Tysplakov brings size and skill to the wing, and possibly to center, as well as a physical game. Not to mention a dynamic shot...

His 31-goal breakthrough this season comes after his previous career high of just 10 goals. He's been playing just under 18 minutes a night for Moscow Spartak, on second-line duties.

The Athletic's Scott Wheeler describes his game this way:

“Big, strong, athletic kid. Holds pucks well. Strong skater. Good snap shot and wrist shot (likes the curl-and-drag). Likes to shoot it. Straight-line type. Direct. Attacks into defenders for his shot. Engaged physically. What you see is what you get. Not a layers/problem-solver type.”

He'd be a perfect fit for Toronto's bottom-six, which is in desperate need of an upgrade next season.

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports