Herzog, Korostelev, Desrocher, Where are they now?

    Toronto’s recent draft picks and prosperous trades has quickly filled the team’s talent pool, which finally overflowed last June. The Leafs chose not to sign three budding players – Fabrice Herzog, Nikita Korostelev, and Stephen Desrocher – by the June 1st deadline, leaving them to seek other hockey opportunities.

    Where are they now?

    FABRICE HERZOG

    Photo via @FHerzog61 Twitter account

    2013 5th round (142nd) overall
    6’2″, 192 lbs

    Herzog had an impressive run during his draft year. As an 18-year-old on a Swiss Elite Jr. A Zug U20 team, he lead the team in goals (28) and was second in points (45) in 32 games. He even played 20 games at the professional level alongside Linus Omark, Henrik Zetterberg, and Damien Brunner during the lockout-shortened NHL season.

    Herzog came to North America the following year and lead the Quebec Ramparts in goals (32, behind only now-Arizona Coyote Anthony Duclair) and his 58 points ranked fourth on the team (19 points ahead of 2012 12th-overall pick Mikhail Grigorenko). He’d also play five games at the AHL level and represent his country in two international tournaments.

    It wasn’t meant to last, however. He returned to the EV Zug after just one year in Canada and became a ZSC Lion the following season. He’s averaged a career 0.401 PPG in the NLA, including during his short stint with Auston Matthews.

    Where is he now?

    Herzog is still with the Lions and represents Switzerland internationally. He’s got it made playing professional hockey in the Alps but don’t expect him to ever make it to North America and compete for a cup.

    (He also pulled a Reichel last weekend against SC Bern…)


    NIKITA KOROSTELEV

    Screenshot via @Nkoro35 Twitter account. Buddy’s excited about his hometown

    2015 7th round (185th overall)
    6’1″, 201 lbs

    The young Russian was a safe, late-round pick at the time. Korostelev was averaging nearly 1.00 PPG for the Sarnia Sting in his draft year and lead the team in points (53) and goals (24). His numbers slipped the following year – when future-NHLers Pavel Zacha, Travis Konecny, Jakob Chychrun, and now-stud Jordan Kyrou emerged – and he recorded just 42 points (23G 19A) in 53 games (0.792 PPG).

    He was traded to the Peterborough Petes mid-way through the 2016-17 season, a year he averaged 1.164 PPG in the season and notch 11 points (4G 7A) in 12 playoff games. The Petes was swept by the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL Eastern Conference Finals weeks before the June 1st signing deadline.

    Where is he now?

    The overager is still lacing up for the Petes. The playmaker has 32 points this year, leads the team in assists (21) and is currently third in goals (11). We wouldn’t be surprised if at least one NHL team gave him a shot this offseason, we just don’t expect it to be the blue and white.

     


    STEPHEN DESROCHER

    Photo via @stephendesrocher Instagram account

    2015 6th round (155th overall)
    6’4″, 198 lbs

    It was the big blueliner’s smart, defensive play that impressed the Leafs on draft day, which complimented Desrocher’s 10 goals and 13 assists in 66 games with the Oshawa Generals that year. His team finished the 2014-15 OHL in second place (108 points), would go on to win the league championship and then capture the Memorial Cup. His rate of offense grew each year (0.667 in 2015-16 split between Oshawa and Kingston; 0.785 PPG 2016-17 in Kingston). His OHL, and seemingly hockey, career ended with a 6-2 loss and series sweep to Peterborough last April.

    Where is he now?

    The Columbus Blue Jackets invited him to training camp but cut the big man on September 20th. Desrocher was released from his PTO with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters a few days later.

    Since then, we’re honestly not sure what he’s been up to. His hockeydb, NHL, and EliteProspects pages end after the 2016-17 season. His Instagram and Twitter accounts lead us nowhere, and his name doesn’t appear on the AHL, ECHL, RSEQ, Canada West, OUA, U-SPORTS, NCAA D-I, D-II or D-III player searches.

    Wherever you are, Stephen, we hope you’re well.