The Tampa Bay Lightning signed goaltending prospect Hugo Alnefelt Saturday and now have added another netminder to their stable of prospects as the team announced they have inked Amir Miftakhov to an entry-level contract.
Despite being a Lightning’s sixth-round pick from the 2020 draft, it looks as if Tampa Bay intends to fast-track Miftakhov as it is believed that he will come to North America and likely compete with Alnefelt next year in the AHL.
While being drafted a year later than the 19-year-old Alnefelt, Miftakhov is actually a year older than him. The 21-year-old was passed over in the draft twice before finally being selected by Tampa Bay last year. One likely reason for not being drafted immediately was his size as Miftakhov is just 6-foot, 172 pounds, quite small for a netminder.
Regardless of his size, he has fared quite well in three seasons with Bars Kazan of the VHL and this year got an opportunity with seven games in the KHL where he posted a 2.25 GAA and a .917 save percentage. He also was the starting goaltender at the 2020 World Junior Championships in which he led Team Russia to a silver medal.