Rodion Amirov is the first-round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Amirov is a 6’0, 177bls left winger who plays for Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL. He was the first Russian player selected in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Rodion Amirov Scouting Report
Amirov is an impressive two-way winger who understands how to play both ends effectively. He has good speed, a high hockey IQ, and decent puck control. Amirov has very smooth puck handling ability as well as a deceptively quick release on his shot.
Defensively, he reads the ice well in his defensive zone, which allows him to be in the right areas at the right time. That gives him the ability to block passing lanes and apply pressure, both with and without the puck. He has excellent board play in all three zones and is very elusive in tight spaces.
The Maple Leafs scouting staff were very high on this kid and believe he checks off all their boxes for what they were looking for in a player.
Rodion Amirov’s International Play
During the 2018-19 season, Amirov found success on the international stage. He won a Bronze medal at the Hlinka Memorial Tournament and a Silver medal at the Under 18 World Junior Championship.
He recorded six goals and three assists for nine points in seven games during Russia’s Silver Medal run at 2018 Under 18 World Junior Championship.
Rodion Amirov’s Play In Russia
During the 2019-20 season, Amirov spent time in the MHL, VHL, and KHL. With Tolpar Ufa in the MHL, Amirov recorded 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in 17 games. He then moved up into the VHL, where he picked up three points in five games for Toros Neftekamsk. Then he was given a chance to play in the KHL for Salavat Yulaev Ufa. He only managed to pick up two points in 21 games, but it was his first test against players much older than him.
So far, in the 2020-21 season, Amirov has five points in 10 games for Salavat Yulaev Ufa. We should have a better read on him after a full season in the KHL. He is said to be about three years away from being NHL ready. Time will tell if he stays in the KHL for three years or comes to North America for at least one season with the Toronto Marlies. As long as his development continues to improve, that is what matters right now.
Rodion Amirov’s Future With The Maple Leafs
Depending on who the Maple Leafs have on their roster by the time Amirov is NHL ready, he could provide depth as a cheap Entry Level Contract (ELC) option. It will sort of be like Nick Robertson playing with the Maple Leafs in 2021. He has the skill and has shown he is NHL ready, but also offers the team a skilled player on a cap-friendly ELC.
My Final Thoughts On Rodion Amirov
I will admit that I did not have the Maple Leafs taking Amirov in any of my mock drafts. Though, I did have him getting selected in the first round. I had him picked to go 18th overall, which in all fairness, is not far off from 15th. I do not hate the pick, and now that the Maple Leafs have drafted him, I will be keeping a close eye on how he’s playing in the KHL.
Around the midseason mark for the KHL, I will try to do an updated scouting report on Amirov along with whoever else the Maple Leafs draft in rounds two through seven tomorrow. Round two of the draft starts at 11:30 am EST.
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