Leading up to the Blackhawks’ 2018 development camp, The Rink will profile the Hawks’ top 10 unsigned prospects.
Next on the list at 7th is left wing Artur Kayumov of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
2017–18 Team: Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (Russia)
Date of Birth: February 14, 1998
Place of Birth: Podgorny, Russia
Weight: 176 lbs
Acquired: 2016 NHL Entry Draft, 2nd round, 50th overall
For a while, it appeared as though Artur Kayumov may have been trending in the direction of being a bust. In the two-plus seasons since being drafted, Kayumov struggled at the professional level in Russia and even sustained a collarbone injury at the beginning of the 2017–18 season. But, Kayumov returned in time to play for Russia in the 2018 World Junior Championships and proved he is still worthy of consideration as a good prospect, as he registered five points in five games.
Kayumov plays a well-rounded game. He is best in the offensive end, particularly as a shooter. He has a quick, accurate shot. Kayumov is also an effective playmaker with good passing ability and vision. Though he has not put up big numbers since being drafted, he is generally a player who is around the play when goals are scored and plays in important moments of the game. During the World Juniors, Kayumov played on the power play and penalty kill and was a regular at the end of games.
Skating is Kayumov’s biggest strength. He has great speed and agility and uses his skating to create offensive opportunities for himself and teammates. This ability was notably on display at the World Juniors, where Kayumov was a difference-maker for the Russians.
Kayumov is also fairly reliable defensively, as he is good at getting in shooting lanes and does not cheat out of the zone for offensive opportunities. He leads by example on the ice and can be a valuable piece to his team in many ways.
2018–19 should be a good test for Kayumov, as he will likely spend the entire season with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s KHL team. Thus far, Kayumov has bounced around in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s system, often playing in the MHL.
Kayumov’s biggest concern is his size. It was already a concern, but now with some injury history, that becomes an even bigger concern. He will need to bulk up to withstand NHL contact. Spending more time playing in the KHL should help him adjust to playing against men.
Implications for the Blackhawks
Kayumov still has time to prove he is worthy of eventually grabbing a spot on the Blackhawks roster. He has the offensive skill needed to play in the NHL and will likely just need to prove he is worthy of the opportunity. Additionally, Kayumov grew up as a Blackhawks fan, so he should have plenty of motivation to earn a chance to play in Chicago.
Kayumov is under contract in Russia through the 2019–20 season, so the earliest he could sign with Chicago would be entering the 2020–21 season, where he may spend a year in Rockford to adjust to the North American game. If Kayumov is able to make the jump to the NHL, it would likely not be until 2021–22.
Kayumov’s offensive game makes him a top-six type of player, though he likely does not contribute enough to be worthy of a top-line spot. More realistically, Kayumov would be a middle-six winger who can chip in and create offense while not being a liability in his own end.
What others are saying
“The development of Kayumov, one of the few Hawks prospects with offensive upside, has been frustrating since he was drafted with the 50th overall pick in 2016. Injuries have limited his playing time in Russia, where he’s bounced between three different leagues. When he’s gotten on the ice, he hasn’t put up big numbers. But even with those hiccups in his progress, Kayumov remains one of the Blackhawks’ top prospects because of his abilities. The 20-year-old is one of the best skaters in the farm system and can use that to create playmaking opportunities.”
— Satchel Price/Chicago Sun Times
“Kayumov has excelled whenever he’s played against his peers whether in Russia or internationally. He’s usually among the best skaters on the ice. He likes to hold onto the puck and find openings in the offensive zone. He can put up points by scoring or distributing.”
— Scott Powers/The Athletic
Kayumov’s draft-day interview can be viewed below: