A solid two-way winger who thrives on creating space for himself in the offensive zone to create plays. Good skill and very smart, but lacks pure speed and strength. Potential to be a top-six forward.
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November 2022 – After spending a few weeks in Toronto to begin the season, Amirov has returned home to his family in order to undergo further treatment for the brain tumor he was diagnosed with last February. His training and subsequent return to the ice have been put on hold as his overall health and wellbeing remain the primary focus. Nick Richard
August 2022 – In an interview with a Russian media outlet, Amirov stated that he has two rounds of treatment remaining for the brain tumor he was diagnosed with back in February. He has been training on and off the ice while undergoing treatment and said that he hopes to return to the ice full-time in November or December. Hockey aside, it is great to hear that Amirov continues progressing and is on his way back to full health. Nick Richard
July 2022 – The Maple Leafs and Salavat Yulaev have extended their loan agreement for another year, and Amirov will remain with his KHL club as he continues his treatment and recovery for a brain tumor. He has not yet been cleared to play but is training and skating with Salavat’s coaching staff, and he says his recovery is going well. Here’s hoping that Amirov can return to full health and continue pursuing his NHL dreams in time. Nick Richard
February 2022 – The Leafs, in conjunction with Amirov’s agent and his KHL club, recently announced that the 20-year-old winger has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. It is a sad and scary piece of news that goes far beyond hockey.
Amirov has displayed a remarkably positive and inspirational attitude early on in the process and is currently receiving medical care in Germany. He says that he is still working out daily and skating three times a week as he undergoes treatment – a testament to the strength he possesses as he faces the toughest battle of his life.
Amirov won’t play in the KHL again this season but here’s hoping that, in time, he is able to return to full health and continue the pursuit of his NHL dreams. Nick Richard
December 2021 – Amirov has returned from injury after missing over two months of action with an undisclosed injury. He played three games with Ufa’s VHL affiliate as part of a conditioning stint before rejoining the KHL club and picked up an assist in his first game back. Ufa will work him back slowly and the hope is that Amirov can put his injury troubles behind him as he works his way back up the lineup in the second half of the season. Nick Richard
October 2021 – Amirov’s season has not started the way that he, the Leafs, or his KHL club had hoped. After missing the first eight games of Ufa’s regular season schedule, he returned for just three games before suffering another undisclosed injury and has been out of the lineup since. Ufa’s head coach said recently that Amirov is not close to returning to the lineup and he was recently seeing doctors in Germany to determine how to best move forward with his recovery. Nick Richard
September 2021 – After getting off to a hot start in the KHL preseason, Amirov suffered an upper-body injury as the result of a scary collision into the boards and was forced to miss the beginning of the regular season. He has since returned to the lineup for Salavat Yulaev and picked up a gorgeous assist in his first game back. Starting off on the third line, Amirov will be working to force his way up the lineup into a more prominent role with heavier minutes as he continues his progression in 2021-22. Nick Richard
April 2021 – The Leafs’ 2020 first-round pick has signed a three-year ELC with the Maple Leafs. He will now spend time with Toronto’s developmental staff, however his contract states he will be loaned back to the KHL if he isn’t in the NHL lineup next year. The 19-year-old’s nine goals and 13 points in 39 games are both KHL career-highs, and his aTOI jumped four minutes this season from 10 minutes to 14. His capable two-way play certainly puts him in the running for a 2021-22 roster spot, however the structure of the deal indicates that both sides think more professional experience may be necessary. He will be one of the highest-profile prospects to watch in training camp next campaign. Hayden Soboleski
January 2021 – Team Russia failed to take home any hardware at the 2021 WJCs, losing the bronze medal match to Finland. Despite a disappointing final two games where he was held scoreless, Amirov’s tournament was a positive one overall as he led his squad with 6 points in 7 games and showed off his backchecking abilities on a regular basis. He continues to prove himself to be a well-rounded player who can play in all three zones against his top peers and will now head back to the KHL to gain more pro experience. Expect an NHL training camp invite in 2021-22. Hayden Soboleski
November 2020 – Amirov represented Team Russia at the Karjala Cup and came away with 3 goals in 3 games as Russia went 3-0 in the tournament. He was named the top forward of the tournament and reminded fans why he was worthy of the Leafs’ first-round pick. Next stop – the WJC where he can hopefully raise his stock even further. Hayden Soboleski
October 2020 – The Maple Leafs have drafted Amirov with the 15th pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. This is within the range he was expected to be taken at by pre-draft scouting rankings. He has started his KHL campaign strong with 3 goals and 5 points in his first 10 contests, with nearly 2 SOG/game and over 15:00 aTOI. This represents a big step for the skilled winger. Hayden Soboleski
May 2020 – Amirov spent the 2019-20 season playing in all three of the major Russian leagues, the KHL, VHL, and MHL. Offensively, Amirov is a threat in open ice, as he is shifty and can skate well for his size. He isn’t a quick skater by any means, but he does move with great agility and edgework to create space for himself. With the puck on his stick, he is patient to make plays and doesn’t rush passes or low danger shots in areas where other players may panic and lose possession. When Amirov isn’t in control of the puck in the offensive zone, he works hard to get into open areas for passing options. Once he gets the puck in an open dangerous area, he, more likely than not, will put the puck on net. At the MHL level this season, he averaged five shots per game, the second highest shots-per-game number in the league. Amirov finished the MHL season with 10 goals in 17 games played and they were all a result of his offensive positioning and smooth skating in the zone. His shot is one of his best offensive weapons because of his quick release and deadly accuracy. Some concerns arise regarding his KHL production this year, picking up only two points in 21 games played in a relatively big role for the team. There are things in Amirov’s game that limited his ability to produce at the highest level – strength and pure speed mostly – however, he picked himself up and produced very well in the VHL.
Amirov is touted as one of the best two-way players in the draft, and he lives up to the hype. He isn’t a physical presence on the ice, in fact, his physicality and strength are two of his biggest downsides. But he does have excellent positioning in the defensive zone. Amirov covers passing and shooting lanes effectively and is great at creating turnovers that lead to breakouts for his team. In the MHL, he displayed his ability to quickly switch gears from defense to offense as soon as his team gained control of the puck. He shies away from board battles, but puts himself in open space for his teammates to use him as an outlet pass. At the KHL level, his defensive impact was slightly more subdued due to his lack of physical play, but the KHL is a difficult league to play in for young players. Amirov played 21 KHL games this season for Salavat Yulaev, and next year he will likely be spending the entire season with them. Dylan Griffing