London Knights’ forward Abakar Kazbekov passes away suddenly

The London Knights and the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) are mourning the unexpected death of 18-year-old forward Abakar Kazbekov. 

Kazbekov played in Friday night’s 5-2 victory over the Owen Sound Attack and no further details have been provided. He was selected first overall in the 2021 OHL U18 Draft by the London Knights. Last season during the 2021-22 campaign the Moscow native registered one goal in nine games. He had one assist in 12 games this season. 

The 6-foot-1 center had spent time in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) prior to making the jump to the OHL. In 2019-20 he came over from Russia and played for the Vaughan Kings U16 AAA club and recorded 12 points in 21 games. 

OHL commissioner David Branch released a statement Saturday on the passing of Kazebkov: “Today I join the entire NHL community in mourning the devastating loss of London Knights player Abakar Kabezkov. Our deepest condolences are with his family and friends in Russia and his teammates, billets and friends here in Canada”   

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The Knights also announced that Saturday night’s game against the Flint Firebirds will be postponed. 

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