Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev had a bit of a tough year. 

The defenseman was given the Jake Gardiner treatment by fans throughout the year and did have some really tough games. 

Luckily for Zaitsev and the Leafs, the defenseman seemed to find real chemistry with new comer Jake Muzzin and the duo became a solid pairing down the stretch. 

Despite the late season success, Zaitsev has been labeled as a probable trade candidate during the summer. 

In the meantime, Zaitsev received some great news on Wednesday. 

The Leafs' defenseman has been named to Team Russia's 2019 IIHF World Hockey Championships' roster. 

The defenseman had eight assists in eight games for Team Russia last year at the tournament.