Ranking the top 31 Prospects in the 2020 NHL Draft: 18. Rodion Amirov

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 22: Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators attends the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 22: Pierre Dorion of the Ottawa Senators attends the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The undisputed top-Russian skater in this draft class, Rodion Amirov has become a regular in then KHL

Rodion Amirov (LW), Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL), Tolpar Ufa (MHL)

H: 6’0″ W: 168 lbs

A terrific 2018-19 season helped expose his name to many scouts around the world and it’s safe to say he left a good impression on many of them.

Amirov attended his first world tournament in 2019 when he played for Russia’s national U18 team where he carried his team with 6 goals and 9 points in just 7 games. They would end up winning the silver medal, but Amirov was one of the bigger stars in the tournament.

2019-2020 Recap

GP: 21 G: 0 A: 2 P: 2 +/-: -6 (KHL), GP: 17 G: 10 A: 12 P: 22 +/-: 13

It’s always hard for a player to break out in his rookie season, especially in what is arguably the 2nd best league in the world. With just 2 points during his 21 game stint, he would have liked to be a bit more successful, but expectations weren’t exactly sky-high. Stuck just playing 9:53 TOI/game, Amirov like plenty of other prospects in the draft didn’t have a great opportunity at the professional level.

Despite not doing much of anything in the KHL, the stint he had gives him a blueprint on improving his game and demanding more ice time for the following season.

Playing against players his own age in Russia’s top junior league (MHL), Amirov was dominant, recording well over a point/game in his 17 games. Amirov played upwards of 20 TOI/game with the junior squad, recording a crazy 85 shots on net, good for 5 shots/game. Finishing his stint in the MHL with 1.29 points/game, Amirov was significantly ahead of fellow draft-eligibles Alexandr Pashin (1.05), Dmitri Ovchinnikov (1.01) and Marat Khusnutdinov (0.86), clearly the best out of the group.

Amirov also had a small portion of games in the VHL, Russia’s 2nd-tier men’s league, totalling 3 points in 5 regular-season games and 4 points in 6 playoff games, showing he belongs in the mens game rather than heading back to junior.



Amirov blends great technique with explosive skating while he’s on the ice, the talented Russian is very quick to accelerate and shows great agility with/without the puck.

While he doesn’t have elite top speed, how quick he gets to that speed is elite and one of the best in the class. He’s very crafty on his edges as well and can turn on a dime to evade defenders. In the goal below Amirov makes a swift move to the outside to avoid the defender for the beautiful goal:

Defenceman always have to work extra hard versus Amirov as he usually is coming over the blue line at top speed. His terrific skating ability also allows for him to be strong in his own end as he’s renowned as one the better two-way forwards in the draft. With the NHL evolving into a higher pace game style, Amirov should be a great fit for any team that drafts him.

Possible Selection at 28?

Ranked between 14 and 25 by multiple scouting services, it seems unlikely that Amirov falls enough for Ottawa to select him but it’s not totally out of the question. Ottawa has been a bit sheepish on drafting Russian players over the last decade, but with the recent additions of Nikita Zaitsev, Artem Anisimov and Artem Zub they appear to have changed their ways.

With not a whole lot of talent at left-wing, this pick would bolster the position and with Amirov’s immense skillset the pick would make perfect sense.

If Amirov falls in the draft Ottawa wouldn’t be critiqued if they took him with their 3rd first-round pick.