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TOP LEAFS PROSPECT REPORTEDLY IN THE MIDST OF NEGOTIATIONS TO REMAIN IN THE KHL

Despite rumours that 2020 1st rounder Rodion Amirov could be in line to transition over to North America at the conclusion of his current deal with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL, reports coming out of Ufa would suggest to the contrary.

According to Denis Taipov, an Ufa based sportswriter, negotiations have begun between Amirov and his current club, with a two-year term being discussed. Should that occur, it is unlikely that Amirov would arrive in North America until the conclusion of the 2022-23 season.

This may not be quite the plan that Leafs Nation had in mind for the highly skilled winger, who had previously indicated that he would like to join the Maple Leafs as soon as possible - music to the ears of the Leafs' faithful. Or, conversely, perhaps it's the path that Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has in mind to ensure the proper development of the 19-year-old, whose ice time in Toronto would project fairly miniscule, given the abundance of organizational depth on the wing.



After a sensational performance at the Karjala Cup in Helsinki earlier this month, during which time Amirov managed to score in each of his first three games in international competition (the first Russian-born player to accomplish that feat), the hockey world has taken notice of the flashy and dynamic winger, recognizing what the Leafs saw in the 6'1, 185 lb Russian, which is a shifty, intelligent, crafty forward with the ability to create his own space and make plays, but who also possesses high-end finishing ability.

Amirov has registered 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points through 19 games with Ufa this season, despite seeing limited ice time.

MIKE ARMENTI
NOVEMBER 19, 2020  (11H15)