Rodion Amirov: Former Maple Leafs first round pick diagnosed with brain tumor

The 20-year-old Russian forward was selected as a first round draft pick by the Maple Leafs in 2020, and in April 2021, the team announced that Amirov had signed a three-year entry level contract.
“I regret to inform our fans that Rodion Amirov has been diagnosed with a brain tumour,” Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas said in a statement.

The 20-year-old Russian forward had begun the season with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) before sustaining an injury.

“New, unrelated symptoms that required ongoing extensive investigations” developed during Amirov’s injury recovery, the statement added.

According to the team, Amirov is undergoing treatment at a medical facility in Germany and will not play for the remainder of the season.

“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,” the team’s statement said.

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

Amirov skates during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship game between Russia and Sweden in December 2020.

‘Never give up’

Having completed his first week of chemotherapy, Amirov said he “wants to stay positive” in an interview with Sportsnet reporter Elliote Friedman.

“I want to stay positive, and I want people to think positively about me,” Amirov said.

“There are many other people that have their own sicknesses or illnesses. I want to show by example that I can give people hope.

“Never give up. The challenges you are given in life are for you to overcome,” he added.

Amirov said he wants to "stay positive."
Amirov told Friedman that he would be reaching out to Max Parrot, the Canadian snowboarder who won slopestyle gold at the Winter Olympics in Beijing earlier this month, just over three years on from his cancer diagnosis.

Parrot was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2018, undergoing 12 rounds of chemotherapy before announcing in July 2019 that he had “won” against cancer.

Max Parrot: Canadian snowboarder wins Olympic gold, three years after cancer diagnosis
A statement from Amirov’s agent Dan Milstein, posted on Twitter, said that the 20-year-old was skating three times a week and working out daily.

“In the past month, I’ve seen how he’s [Amirov] even more impressive off the ice as he is on it,” Milstein said.

Milstein later posted a photo of Amirov on Twitter, including an email address where fans could send their well-wishes.

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