With the 50th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks picked Russian forward Artur Kayumov. At this point most of the Hawks fan are trying to get more information on the new kid in the town.
Maxim Kayumov was born in 1998 in Bugulma, in Tatarstan, a Russian region where hockey is very popular, and started playing for the local Neftyanik team, where he started making a name for himself as one of the top players of his region for his age group. He was often called up in teams of older players.
In 2010 Kayumov moved westwards to play for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, one of the top hockey academy in Russia, which often invites players from all over the country to play in their teams.
In the recent years, the Yaroslavl academy produced a good number of NHL picks, like Dmitry Kulikov, Ivan Provorov, Vladislav Gavrikov, and many others. Kayumov moved to Yaroslavl for better hockey prospects, considering that even if he had good conditions in Bugulma, there is no pro hockey there, and then he should have move anyway.
In his new reality Kayumov was one of the top players since the start. He was an alternate captain for his hockey team just one year after he arrived there, and his talent was already undeniable.
He was always a great sniper and his goalscoring ability was evident in his very early years. In 2014 he started playing for Team Russia on the international stage, and even if he needed some games to get used to the different level, he started scoring a lot for the Mother Land too.
Gifted with a great shot and a fast release, Kayumov never stopped smashing the puck in the net, scoring even seven goals in a game against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, and continuing it when he started playing against more intense competition as MHL and MHL B tournaments.
In summer 2015 Team Russia created a U18 national team to play in the MHL and of course he was picked up and chosen to play on the first line. He didn’t disappoint and ended up as the team’s top scorer with 31 points in 39 games.
The Russians then had to withdraw their team from the tournament, sending there younger guys home, and Kayumov missed a chance to represent his country on the major international stage — he did play for Russia at the Hlinka tournament in August 2015. The situation with Russina hockey didn’t scare the Blackhawks, who drafted Kayumov with the 50th overall pick. The Hawks also didn’t get scared by Artur’s size, as he is a mere 5’10”, 155 pound forward who of course doesn’t play a physical style.
“I’m not surprised that Chicago drafted me,” Kayumov told Roman Solovyov of rsport.ru. “We talked a lot during the season, they got to Russia to see me, and they talked with me at the Combine. It’s good that they have Russian players there, [Artemi] Panarin, I think I play in a similar way. Now I’m only thinking about Lokomotiv, I’m under contract for another two years, and I want to work as hard as possible to get a spot in the main team.”
A finesse player with a great stride and an excellent nose for the net, Kayumov has still a long way in front of him before thinking about crossing the pond. This is especially due to his size, but also to his playing style.
Kayumov is under contract in the KHL for a further two season, through April 2018. Since the Team Russia U18 is over, he’ll be back in Yaroslavl to play for the local Lokomotiv. And maybe in 2016-17 he’ll get the first taste of professional hockey.
Artur Kayumov’s CV
- 2014-15: Russia U17 Gold Medal
- 2015-16: Ivan Hlinka Memorial Bronze Medal
- 2015-16: World Junior A Challenge Silver Medal
A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso