2020 1st round pick dead at just 21 years old
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2020 1st round pick dead at just 21 years old

Absolutely devastating.



Former Toronto Maple Leafs 1st round draft pick Rodion Amirov has died at just 21 years old.

Rodion's agent Dan Milstein made the announcement earlier today on social media:

It is we great sadness that we announce the passing of Rodion Amirov. Two years ago, Rodion was diagnosed with a brain tumour. 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. 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. Both did everything possible to help in any way, do whatever was necessary for Rodion and the Amirov family. And we’d like to thank hockey fans all over the world who sent notes of encouragement and best wishes over the past two years. They meant so much to the Amirov family.

- Dan Milstein

Amirov was diagnosed with a brain tumor just two years ago. He was the team's 1st round selection in 2020. 

As Milstein says in his social media post, Amirov was a positive minded young man with strength and courage well beyond his years. He handled with diagnosis with incredible grace and will always be remember not for 'what could have been' but rather for what he accomplished in his short time on Earth.

While it may seem trivial to discuss Amirov's hockey prowess on a day like today, there's no denying that he was supremely talented. Playing as just a 17 year old boy in the KHL, Amirov put up an impressive 9 goals and 13 points in his draft season. He was a skilled player with the puck and had dogged determination as a staple in his defensive game. There's a reason he was selected to so high in his draft class (15th overall in 2020) and it's mostly because scouts saw him as a well rounded, two-way forward with the capability to grow both in stature and in experience.

Sadly, we'll never know how Amirov would have fared in the NHL.

Thoughts and prayer go out to his family at this difficult time.

Source: Dan Milstein