Leafs goalie prospect loaned to minor league team to attempt to replicate last season's tremendous success

Published August 31, 2023 at 10:11
BY MIKE ARMENTI

In case you missed it, on Wednesday, Leafs goaltending prospect Artur Akhtyamov was officially loaned to the VHL's Neftyanik Almetievsk from his KHL club, Ak Bars Kazan. The move occurred because of a logjam in net for Kazan, and Akhtyamov's tremendous success with Neftyanik Almetievsk last season.

In 39 games with Neftyanik Almetievsk last season, Akhtyamov racked up a 20-12-6 record with a 1.74 GAA and a .943 SV%, which excited many in Leafs Nation. The VHL is like what the AHL is to the NHL, the KHL's minor league, essentially.

While Akhtyamov hasn't much actual KHL experience, it's hard to tell what he is right now. Is he merely an excellent minor league goaltender? Is he a bona-fide top flight goaltending prospect? The honest truth is that we just don't know. In fact, we likely won't know until he's played a healthy number of games at the KHL level against top competition over there, or until he comes over to North America and experiences similar results here.

The hope is that the 21-year-old can replicate his performance from 2022-23 and put up similar numbers. Since he's only on loan to Neftyanik, Akhtyamov can be recalled by Ak Bars Kazan at any point this season and is likely the team's 3rd string goalie behind Timur Bilyalov and Amir Miftakhov.


Akhtyamov was originally drafted by the Leafs in the 4th round (106th overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.


POLL
August 31   |   87 answers
Leafs goalie prospect loaned to minor league team to attempt to replicate last season's tremendous success

Which Leafs goalie prospect are you most excited about?

Artur Akhtyamov2124.1 %
Vyacheslav Peksa2629.9 %
Dennis Hildeby3034.5 %
Other1011.5 %
LIST OF POLL
Latest 10 stories