Leafs prospect receives devastating diagnosis

Published February 23, 2022 at 10:15

On Wednesday morning, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas released a statement regarding top prospect Rodion Amirov, revealing some heartbreaking news about the 20-year-old Russian winger.

"I regret to inform our fans that Rodion Amirov has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Rodion commenced the 2021-22 season with Salavat Ufa of the KHL but suffered an injury to open the season. During the course of his recovery from this injury, he developed some new, unrelated symptoms that required ongoing extensive investigations over the last few months.

Rodion is currently undergoing treatment at a medical facility in Germany and will not return to play for the remainder of the season.

Our medical staff has been involved throughout the process alongside Ufa's and we are in direct contact with the facility on an ongoing basis to monitor his treatment and care. Rodion has the complete support of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and we will continue to ensure he receives the best care possible throughout this process.

Out of respect for Rodion and his family, the Club will not have any further comment at this time."

A very sad and scary turn of events and as we all look to take in this information and process it, on behalf of the crew at, we'd like to send our best vibes and suppport to the Amirov family. We'll be keeping Rodion in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Amirov was Dubas' 1st pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, 15th overall. While some had been lobbying for 6'2 Brandon Wheat Kings right-shot defender Braden Schneider, Amirov was the top-ranked European skater available - and with the Leafs having an undeniable need for a left winger, Amirov and his solid two-way play definitely fit the bill.

Amirov spoke with Sportsnet about his diagnosis and had the following to say about anyone who might be concerned about him during this difficult time.

"I want to stay positive, and I want people to think positively about me. There are many other people that have their own sicknesses or illnesses. I want to show by example that I can give people hope."

The young winger has seen NHLers like Oskar Lindblom and Brian Boyle take on cancer, beat it, and go right back to doing what they love - playing hockey in the best league in the world. That's what Amirov's mindset is coming into the toughest battle of his young life. On how his diagnosis has impacted his life so far, he had this to say:

"I'm living a normal life. I'm continuing to practice, to skate, to go to the gym. The doctors support [that] I continue on. I shoot, work on my hands, basically the same drills I would do normally, but by myself."

-Amirov on what life has been like post-diagnosis.

Amirov has been limited to just 10 games this season between the injury he suffered in the preseason and his diagnosis.

Latest 10 stories