2019-20 Team: Ak Bars Kazan – KHL
Date of Birth: Sep. 08, 1999
Place of Birth: Samara, Russia
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 176 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 overage eligible
Every draft, there will be talented players who don’t get selected. This has been the case for Artyom Galimov, who is has been passed over the last three years and is approaching his fourth and final chance to hear his name called on draft day.
As an undersized forward, you can understand why NHL franchises may have looked at other options. Galimov didn’t have eye-popping scoring numbers in the MHL and VHL, causing questions about whether his game would translate against better players.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
In the 2019-20 season, however, Galimov got a chance to showcase his full talents. While playing for Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, he took over a third-line role on a talented team playing against men in the second-best hockey league in the world.
In 55 games, he posted 13 goals and 23 points, both impressive totals for his age and size. To top it all off, Galimov earned the Alexei Cherepanov Award as the KHL’s rookie of the year.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Artyom Galimov – NHL Draft Projection
While this may be Galimov’s final chance to hear his name called at the NHL draft, it appears that he has done enough in 2020 to earn a fourth or early fifth-round selection
Sure, he may not be the biggest forward, but he has proven experience against men, which counts for a lot. With this in mind, he will likely be a mid-fourth rounder, with an outside shot at the late third if a team believes in his potential.
He’s got talent and two-way ability, so it was a bit shocking to see him get passed over for a third time in 2019. Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm for Galimov…Larry Fisher – THW.com
He’s been in the Ak Bars system from the start, making his way through the Russian juniors and minors before bursting onto the KHL scene last season. It was a surprise to see a rookie join a team as talented as Ak Bars and flourish as much as he did.Earl Schwartz – theleafsnation.com
- Great two-way ability
- Experience against men in the KHL
- Solid all-around hockey-IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Scoring potential is good but not exceptional
Galimov is in an interesting position due to the draft happening in October this year. The KHL already started their 2020-21 season and he is signed to play through the rest of the year, so even if he is selected, he won’t be coming to North America until 2021-22.
Assuming he decides to leave the KHL for the NHL, there will be a place on a roster for Galimov. He has the toolkit to hold down a steady role as a bottom-six winger, and given his experience, could make the transition sooner rather than later.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 4/5
There are no sure things at the draft. Anything can happen to a player once they are selected that can derail a promising career.
Related: THW 2020 Mock NHL Draft Round 2
However, if Galimov can stay healthy, he has a body of work that already shows his potential. Sure, there have been good KHL players who aren’t able to make the transition to the NHL, but his playing style feels like a fit on almost any team.
With this in mind, Galimov is a low-risk choice on draft day for a team looking for a bottom-six option in 2021. Will he score 20 goals? Likely not. But he could still carve out a solid career with the franchise that selects him.
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.