The Colorado Avalanche wouldn’t mind having a shifty winger like Rodion Amirov in their development pool — if he drops to their #27 pick.
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The Colorado Avalanche are in the thick of things with their Phase 2 in preparation to finish the 2019-20 season, at least the postseason portion of it.
Meanwhile, some NHL teams are getting ready to see where they fall in the draft lottery. I’m so glad the Avalanche can’t lose out on that again.
That said, their scouts are surely working hard on creating draft boards for what’s sure to be a virtual draft in late September or early October. A player that may be in Colorado’s sights is winger Rodion Amirov.
Amirov is a product of the Russian hockey federation. He’s slight — scouting sites have him at 6-foot or 6-foot-1 and between 168 to 181 pounds. Central Scouting has him ranked at #5 for North American skaters. He’s expected to go between #16 and #23.
Colorado isn’t picking until #27 in the first round. So, Amirov may be just outside of their reach. You never know when a prospect might fall, though. So let’s look at this shifty young man.
Rodion Amirov Stats
As noted, Rodion Amirov has been coming up through the Russian system. He started in the MHL in 2017-18. This last season, he bounced between the three big leagues in Russian hockey.
In 17 games in the MHL, Amirov recorded 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 games. When he bumped up to the VHL, he had 1 goal and 2 assists in 5 games. He saw 21 games in the KHL but managed just 2 assists.
He’s slated to play in the KHL next season. As he gets more ice time in a men’s league, he’s likely to record more points.
Rodion Amirov Highlights
Scouts all agree that Rodion Amirov plays a 200-foot game — and that his stick handling is elite. Ben Kerr of Last Word on Hockey calls him a “natural goal scorer” with an excellent wrist shot and quick release. He adds the following observation:
“He is also effective at establishing his position in front of the net. From there he can use a quick stick to bury a pass from a teammate; to pounce on a rebound; or to deflect a shot into the net. He has the soft hands to finish plays if he gets one-on-one with the goaltender.”
Kerr also praises Amirov’s cycling skills in his passing game.
Bill Placzek of Draft Site sees a lot to like in Amirov’s game, too. Indeed, he considers Amirov to be “one of the top all around wingers available in the draft class.” Like Kerr, he praises his shot. However, Placzek likes other aspects of his game, too:
“A strong skater with an aggressive style of play and the shiftiness to make a miserable time for his opposition. Not a burner but displays a quick first step in his strong skating stride and is plenty light on his edges to pivot elusively when in possession and also to forecheck away pucks that seemed to be comfortably in possession of the opposition.”
Placzek thinks he’s developing quite well.
So, let’s look at the young Russian in action:
I do like how he moves. He does have some great skill with the puck.
Rodion Amirov and the Colorado Avalanche
As noted, Rodion Amirov may well go before GM Joe Sakic calls his #27 selection in. That’s what happens when you’re a Cup contender — you don’t get the pick of the draft.
That said, if Rodion Amirov does fall in the draft, I’m sure the team would be interested in him. He’s going to need a couple years to bulk up and play the men’s game. At least one of those years in the KHL and a year or two at the AHL level to learn the North American game.
That puts him in a good time frame for the Colorado Avalanche. He would be a complement to their game down the line.
Whomever the Colorado Avalanche select in the first round, he’s going to be a player who makes the NHL in a few years. Maybe Rodion Amirov will be that player.