Top Maple Leafs draft pick Rodion Amirov has brain tumour – Toronto Sun

“He is in good spirits and determined to return to professional hockey,” his agent said

Russia's Rodion Amirov (27) celebrates his goal on a penalty shot against Austria during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.
Russia’s Rodion Amirov (27) celebrates his goal on a penalty shot against Austria during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. Photo by Jason Franson /THE CANADIAN PRESS

The excitement that the Maple Leafs and their fans had for seeing first-round pick Rodion Amirov in a Toronto sweater one day is now a concern for his personal health.

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In a shocking development Wednesday morning, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and Amirov’s agent, Daniel Milstein, jointly announced the 20-year-old forward with the KHL’s Salavat Ufa team has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Toronto’s top selection in the 2020 draft is undergoing treatment at a medical facility in Germany and will not return this season.

“Rodion commenced the 2021-22 season but suffered an injury,” a statement from Dubas said. “During the course of his recovery, he developed some new, unrelated symptoms that required ongoing extensive investigations over the last few months.

“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,” Dubas said. “Rodion has the complete support of the Leafs organization and we will continue to ensure he receives the best care possible throughout this process.”

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Milstein said Amirov’s family is with him in Germany, and he’s been able to skate three times a week and work out away from the rink since his condition was discovered.

“He is in good spirits and determined to return to professional hockey,” Milsteiomn said. “In the past month, I’ve seen how he’s more impressive off the ice than on it. Supported by two first-class organizations, we will do everything we can at this time to support Rodion and his family during this challenging time.”

The six-foot, 168-pound Amirov was born in Salavat and picked 15th overall in the draft. He had 13 points in 39 games last year with Ufa and three in 10 appearances this season.

lhornby@postmedia.com

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