Meet Leo Komarov, the Leafs’ international man of mystery - G&M
And may never know.
Even untangling where exactly the Toronto Maple Leafs’ international man of mystery is from, and what his key influences are, is a bit of an ordeal.
Born in Narva, Estonia, where his father, Alexander – an Ingrian Finn from Petrozavodsk, Russia – was playing low-level pro hockey, Komarov grew up in Finland after the family moved to the small town of Nykarleby when he was five.
Located at a latitude of 63 degrees north, it’s closer to the Arctic Circle than Yellowknife.
Finnish is not the primary language in Nykarleby, however, meaning little Leonid was already about to take on his third and fourth languages. (English would come later.)
“I went to a Swedish school,” Komarov explained. “We had a rink beside my house. I pretty much got everything I had there.”
Alexander Komarov, meanwhile, was in Finland not to play hockey but pro soccer, although all these years later, his son isn’t quite sure at what level. “It’s not that good,” he said.