The Toronto Maple Leafs took some criticism for not selecting a defenseman like Kaiden Guhle or Braden Schneider with their first round of the 2020 NHL Draft last month, but it does appear that GM Kyle Dubas made a wise choice with the selection of winger Rodion Amirov. The 19-year-old forward was selected as the top forward at the Karjala Cup tournament in Helsinki, scoring a goal in each game against Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.
Sportsology’s Russ Cohen indicated that Amirov is the first player in the history to score a goal in each of his first three international appearances for Team Russia. Alexander Popov, Roman Lyubimov, and Pavel Poryadin each scored in their first two international appearances but were significantly older than the Maple Leafs prospect.
Amirov has six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in 19 KHL games with Ufa Salavat Yulayev, and his selection and success in the tournament should make him a definite for Team Russia for the upcoming 2021 World Junior Tournament in Edmonton next month.
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