Grading the Maple Leafs’ 2020 NHL Draft Class: Artur Akhtyamov

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Here’s my analysis and scouting report for Leafs draftee Artur Akhtyamov. If you’re interested, check out the full article here.

Artur Akhtyamov

Drafted: Round 4, 104th overall
Age: 18, turning 19 on October 31st
Height: 6’2
Weight: 170 lbs
Position: G
2019-20 Season: 26-13-6, .931 SV%, and 1.80 GAA in 46 games played with Irbis Kazan (MHL)
2020-21 Season as of October 7th: 3-0-0, .926 SV%, 1.67 GAA in 3 games played with Irbis Kazan (MHL), 2-1-0, .957 SV%, 0.98 GAA in 4 games played with Bars Kazan (VHL)
Projected Draft Position: Outside of Top 100, likely 6-7th round

Born on Halloween 2001, Artur Akhtyamov is a fright for any opponent he faces. 

Akhtyamov is a bit of a weird goalie to analyze. He’s not like most goalies where you can generally predict their style. Instead, Akhtyamov is a bigger goalie that relies on his energy and quickness. While he’s usually calm and sound in net, he’s also able to get to pucks with his insane speed. It also aids his recovery.

However, he’s really raw. It’s easy to tell where he lacks in technical abilities, something that could hurt him as he gets to a higher level.

There’s also the difficulty in using stats to evaluate MHL goalies. Although his .931 SV% in 2019-20 looks stellar, it doesn’t put him very high among U19 MHL goalies from that year. He also played for a pretty good defensive team, which brings another problem. The MHL is unbalanced, so teams that are good have no problem dominating the lacking teams.

There’s also the fact that he was being heavily challenged by Vladimir Mosin, someone who’s only a couple of months older than him.

He’s doing really well this season in both leagues, though. There’s also the fact that, well, goalies are voodoo! This is going to look absolutely hilarious when he wins a Vezina or something, he’s built as a goalie who will prove everyone wrong with development, and that’s what the Leafs are banking on here.

However, was it really the best idea to pick him this high?

Grade: B

I don’t think it’s a terrible pick, it’s intriguing, but I thought there were better options on the table (think Zion Nybeck). It still would’ve allowed the Leafs to pick the goalie later, I wouldn’t think that any other team would take him before the Leafs’ abundance of late picks.

Nonetheless, his combination of size and speed makes him a promising prospect. I’m not even going to try and project a goalie, though.

With Joseph Woll preparing to improve on a rookie season that left much to be desired, and Ian Scott preparing for his rookie season after missing a season with hip surgery, Akthyamov becomes an intriguing insurance plan. The Leafs are going to hope he takes his time to develop in the KHL, but I wouldn’t mind him working with a guy like Steve Briere when possible.

He’ll be an afterthought for a while, but it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses in a few years.

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Spencer White is an Editor of Hockey at Overtime Heroics. He writes about hockey, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Newfoundland Growlers, and the Toronto Six. You can find him on Twitter at @FreeNylander, @MagicianMarner, and @LeafsMoves.