Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov dies at 21
Toronto Maple Leafs' 2020 first-round draft pick Rodion Amirov waves as he is acknowledged by the crowd before the team's NHL hockey action against the Washington Capitals in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Published Monday, August 14, 2023 3:09PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 14, 2023 3:09PM EDT
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov has died at age 21, two years after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, his agent confirmed Monday.
“From the moment he received the news, he refused to speak in the negative, determined to enjoy every day, facing it with the same positive attitude he showed during his hockey career,” Dan Milstein said in a tweet, announcing Amirov’s death.
“We will always remember his courage, his desire, his will, his smile, all of the great things about him. We’d like to thank his doctors, who took great care of him. We’d like to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs and his KHL - Salavat Yulayev Ufa team.”
Amirov was selected as the 15th overall draft pick by the Leafs in the 2020 entry draft and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the franchise in April 2021. He missed the 2022-23 season for treatment and recovery.
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said in a statement the entire organization is “devastated” by Amirov’s death, adding how sad it is to see someone of his age “with so much promise taken from us so soon.”
“Over the duration of his courageous battle, Rodion’s positivity inspired everyone around him, and he made lasting impressions with our team and fans in his brief visits to Toronto,” Shanahan said.
“We offer our deepest condolences to Rodion’s family and friends as we mourn this loss together.”
With files from The Canadian Press