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OHL's Abakar Kazbekov Dies at Age 18; London Knights Mourn 'Sudden Passing'

Erin WalshDecember 17, 2022

KITCHENER, ONTARIO - MARCH 08: A detail of the London Knights logo during a game against the Kitchener Rangers at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on March 08, 2022 in Kitchener, Ontario. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

The Ontario Hockey League's London Knights announced in a statement Saturday that Russian forward Abakar Kazbekov has died. He was 18.

No further details on his death were provided. He had just played in London's 5-2 win over the Owen Sound Attack on Friday.

London Knights @LondonKnights

Statement from the London Knights and the Ontario Hockey League on the sudden passing of Abakar Kazbekov. <a href="https://t.co/JgpYOZq3fk">pic.twitter.com/JgpYOZq3fk</a>

OHL Commissioner David Brance said in a statement, via the Canadian Press: "Today I join the entire OHL community in mourning the devastating loss of London Knights player Abakar Kazbekov. Our deepest condolences are with his family and friends in Russia and his teammates, billets and friends here in Canada."

Kazbekov had been a member of the London Knights since the 2021-22 campaign. He was selected first overall by the Knights in the 2021 OHL U-18 draft and went on to score one goal in nine games last season.

Kazbekov notched one assist in 12 games during the 2022-23 campaign.

Before being drafted into the OHL, Kazbekov played his U-16 and U-18 hockey in Russia. He also played for the U-18 Mississauga Senators of the Greater Toronto Hockey League in 2020-21.

The OHL announced Saturday's game between the Knights and Flint Firebirds has been postponed following Kazbekov's death.