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POSSIBLE SOSHNIKOV TRADE COULD HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR LEAFS PROSPECT RODION AMIROV IN THE KHL

When Nikita Soshnikov was traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the St. Louis Blues back in 2018, the move was made primarily to make room for a budding young prospect named Kasperi Kapanen to fetch some NHL ice time. Now, 2 and a half years later, Soshnikov finds himself in a similar position in the KHL.

Though nothing is official just yet, it is believed that Soshnikov is heading to CSKA Moscow in order to open up a regular spot in Salavat Yulaev's top nine for another budding young Leafs prospect, 2020 1st-rounder Rodion Amirov.

After playing up and down the lineup for Salavat for most of the season, with the occasional scratch, Amirov has really begun to blossom, showcasing both his elite stickhandling skills, his pro-level shot and his very high hockey IQ on a nightly basis, despite often being among the players seeing the least ice time for Salavat.

The KHL has long been a league that favors experience over youth, even when that youth is uber-talented and can provide more pop for the organization. There's sort of a "right of passage" in KHL hockey culture that these youngsters must go through in order to earn a regular spot and Amirov, though he is young, has excelled in almost every role he's been cast in for Salavat this season.



While Amirov has been excellent for Ufa this season, posting 5 goals and 3 assists through 23 games this season playing just a handful of minutes per night on most occasions, Soshnikov has been absolutely stellar for the club for the past two seasons, amassing 75 points through 79 games for Salavat over that span.

There's still no word on what the potential return might look like should the deal take place, but for CSKA, they're going to be getting one heck of a player in Soshnikov, who at just 27 years old, has plenty of quality hockey left to play - and for the 19-year-old Amirov, this will be his time to seize the opportunity. For a young player with his skill cap, the sky is truly the limit.

MIKE ARMENTI
NOVEMBER 28, 2020  (12H57)
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