The Chicago Blackhawks drafted Russian forward Artur Kayumov in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft after putting up really solid numbers offensively in the MHL. For the last several seasons, Kayumov has been playing with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL, and this season had 19 points in 42 games.
Who is Artur Kayumov?
Kayumov is a 24 year old winger who was born in Podgorny, Russia. He stands at 5’11, 176 pounds and is a left-handed shot. He has been called a player who has a short temper, but has a lot of offensive skill. In the 2020-21 season, he hit his KHL career high in points with 29 of them in 57 games played.
Following a report from a Russian news outlet, the rumors have begun to fly that Kayumov is finally ready to sign and come to North America. It’s fairly likely that he would start his career with the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL, and then the team would evaluate him from there.
Kayumov has often been referred to as a “long term project” but has also drawn comparisons to Artemi Panarin in terms of upside and potential. It Kayumov can come over and be a force right away in the minors, it wouldn’t take him very long to begin fighting for a spot in the NHL with the team likely looking a new direction next season.
I can see Kayumov cracking the roster in a middle six role, if he continues to improve his 200 foot game and keeps his temper in check. He once served a 13 game suspension for delivering a head shot, and then proceeding to punch a referee.
The team will have lots of openings for depth next season, so it’ll be the prime opportunity for Kayumov to try and make a splash, and if not next year there is always the season after, assuming the Blackhawks sign him to an entry level 2 years in length or more.