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NHL Notebook: Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov dead at 21 after cancer battle and David Krejci announces retirement

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Photo credit:Sipa USA via AP
Zach Laing
6 months ago
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov has died at the age of 21 after a battle with cancer.
Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2021 after being treated for an undiscovered injury, Amirov never had the chance to play professional hockey in North America. His agent, Dan Milstein, announced his passing on Twitter Monday.
“The entire Maple Leafs organization is devastated by this tragic loss,” said Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan in a statement. “Over the duration of his courageous battle, Rodion’s positivity inspired everyone around him, and he made lasting impressions with our team and fans in his brief visits to Toronto. It’s incredibly sad to see a young man with so much promise taken from us so soon. We offer our deepest condolences to Rodion’s family and friends as we mourn this loss together.”
Here’s more on Amirov from Daily Faceoff’s Scott Maxwell:
Amirov had never had the opportunity to play professional hockey in North America, but managed to play in 70 games in the KHL, with 10 goals, 8 assists, and 18 points in that span, all across three seasons with Salavat Yulaev Ufa. He also represented Russia at the World Juniors as an alternate captain for the 2021 team, the most recent Russian team that has been allowed to play in the tournament due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He had two goals, four assists, and six points in seven games as Russia lost in the bronze medal game of the tournament.
Amirov was the Leafs first-round pick in the 2020 draft, selecting him at 15th overall with a pick that originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Leafs acquired that pick as part of the return in a deal that sent Kasperi Kapanen to the Penguins, after they had traded away their own first round pick to offload Patrick Marleau’s contract.

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Krejci retires

Another blow to the center depth for the Boston Bruins as David Krejci has announced his retirement.
The move comes weeks after long-time teammate Patrice Bergeron announced his own retirement.
Krejci, 37, was drafted by the Bruins 63rd overall in the 2004 draft, and make his NHL debut in 2006-07. Boston was the only team he played for helping the B’s win the 2011 Stanley Cup.  He appeared in 1032 NHL games scoring 231 goals and 786 points.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis:
Krejci had 16 goals and 56 points in 70 games with the Bruins, his best NHL output since 2018-19. It was his ninth 50-plus-point stat line in his career, with his best season being a 73-point campaign during that same 2018-19 season.
Krejci helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, and made the final in 2011 and 2019. While Krejci didn’t win any personal trophies, he led the playoff in points in 2011 and 2013 and was always a great No. 2 center with the Bruins.
“When I was drafted in 2004, I had no idea that I would be working with such incredible and driven people who would lead us to three Stanley Cup Finals, and winning the ultimate goal in 2011,” Krejci said in a statement posted on Boston’s Twitter page.
“I have made so many great friendships throughout the organization. You have always been there for me whenever I needed something and I will always be here for you.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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