Leafs goalie prospect officially named goaltender of the year

Dean Chaudhry
May 20, 2024  (12:02)

Artur Akhtyamov
Photo credit: KHL/VHL

The 2023-24 season was yet another successful campaign for Leafs goaltending prospect Artur Akhtyamov, who went home with some important hardware in the Russian circuit.

Akhtyamov split his 2023-24 season between the VHL - second highest ranked league in the Russian circuit - and the KHL and enjoyed a successful campaign in both. In the KHL, he posted a 2.51 G.A.A. and a .921 SV% in 13 games for Ak Bars Kazan before sporting an even better 2.00 G.A.A. and a .927 SV% with 3 shutouts for Neftyanik Almetievsk in the VHL.
For his efforts in the VHL, which also included a 10-5-4 record, Akhtyamov was named goaltender of the year. He then rode the momentum of his regular season into the playoffs where he led his club to the championship on the back of a 16-5 record, 2.15 G.A.A., and a scintillating .932 SV%.
Akhtyamov was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 4th round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The 22-year-old has enjoyed a successful career in his native Russia, where he has starred in nearly every league he has played in, whether that be the MHL, VHL, or KHL. Last year, he posted a 20-12-6 record with a .943 SV% and a 1.74 G.A.A. in 39 games for Neftyanik Almetievsk.
The Leafs signed the young goaltender to his ELC last summer before loaning him back to Russia for the 2023-24 season. It remains to be seen what they do with Akhtyamov this year but it wouldn't be the worst thing to allow him to get more playing time, perhaps this time in the KHL full-time.
There also might not be enough space for him this year in North America with Dennis Hildeby and Vyacheslav Peksa having played for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL, respectively. Nevertheless, the Leafs can afford to be patient with one of their more prominent goaltending prospects.
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Leafs goalie prospect officially named goaltender of the year

Who is the better goaltending prospect?

Dennis Hildeby22463.1 %
Vyacheslav Pesksa195.4 %
Artur Akhtyamov11231.5 %
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