Earlier this morning, The London Knights, unfortunately, reported that 18-year-old center Abakar Kazbekov passed away in the early morning of Saturday the 17th, via Twitter.

Back in 2021, Kazbekov was drafted to the Knights with the first overall pick in the OHL’s U18 Priority Selection Draft after his season with the U16 AAA Vaughn Kings that saw the Russian native put up four goals and eight assists for 12 assists in only 21 games played. The 6 foot 1 center was in his second season with the London Knights and had collected one assist in his 12 games this year.

In a statement released by the OHL via Twitter, Commissioner David Branch said: “Today I join the entire NHL 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.” 

In the wake of the devastating news, the London Knights and many other organizations have postponed their respective games.