As part of our Road to the Draft content series, NewJerseyDevils.com will be profiling the top North American and European Skaters eligible for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft. This will allow Devils and hockey fans at large to familiarize themselves with the next class of NHL talent. We now take a look at Ufa forward Rodion Amirov.
POSITION: Left Wing
DRAFT YEAR PRODUCTION: 38 GP, 10 G, 14 A, 24 PTS
WHAT'S THE BUZZ
"Amirov was one of the best forwards at the U18 Worlds and was a good player at the MHL level. Scouts rave about his skill level and his offensive upside. He has all the offensive tools to score as a pro. He's fast, he sees the ice well, he has great hands, he makes plays with pace, and he can score. goals."
-Corey Pronman, the Athletic in his Top Draft Prospects article
CUT TO THE CHASE
Amirov is a dynamic forward that will bring offensive value to whichever franchise drafts him. The Russian Left Wing split this past season between Ufa in the Kontential Hockey League and Ufa's Junior teams. Between the two teams he played 38 games including 21 in the KHL. Although his ten goals this season were with Ufa's Junior team, he was able to notch two helpers at the professional level.
When playing for Ufa's Junior team this season, Amirov was averaging more than a point per game. Through the 17 games he played for the club he had ten goals and twelve assists for 22 points. The previous season with Ufa's Junior team he was just under a point per game average, finishing the season with 13 goals and 13 assists through 31 games.
Amirov drew the most attention for his performance in the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship. In that tournament the forward had six goals, three assists for a total of nine points in seven games. His offensive production helped Russia bring home a silver medal from the tournament and Amirov received Tournament All-Star honors.
The NHL ranked Amirov as the fifth best European skater in their final prospect rankings. The Salavat Russia native says he models his game after Nikita Kucherov and Auston Matthews. According to the NHL's Draft Prospect profile for Amirov, he is a "speedy two way winger with attitude, fine stick-handling, smooth hands, and a good shot. Quick and mobile with a great work ethic. Reliable team player."
DID YOU KNOW
Once drafted, Amirov will become the 22nd player ever from his youth program, Salavat Yulaev Ufa, to be drafted by an NHL team. This youth program is one the Devils are familiar with. New Jersey has selected three players from Salavat Yulaev Ufa - Vadim Sharifyanov in 1994, Nikolai Zavarukhin in 1993 and Alexander Semak in 1988.