On Saturday, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League made the shocking announcement of the tragic passing of forward Abakar Kazbekov.
He was 18.
The 6-foot-1 centreman was found deceased on a sidewalk outside a downtown apartment complex. The cause of death was a fatal fall from an open window.
The London Police Service Major Crime Section is investigating the incident, but early indications are that no foul play has been suspected.
“Abakar has been a valued member of the team since 2021,” the London Knights shared online. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates.”
The Knights announced that their game Saturday evening against the visiting Flint Firebirds would be postponed. While the OHL postponed three other games on Saturday night – the Erie Otters vs. Saginaw Spirit, Kingston Frontenacs vs. the Peterborough Petes, and Niagara vs. Sudbury – due to sensitivity issues pertaining to players on each of those teams that were friends of Kazbekov.
The Russian-born forward grew up in Moscow but also listed Richmond Hill, ON. as one of his hometowns. Having moved from Russia at a young age, Kazbekov played his minor hockey with the Vaughan Kings U-16 AAA team, scoring 12 points in 21 games.
He was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2021 OHL’s U-18 priority selection draft and joined the team in 2021, to which he skated in nine games and scored his first OHL goal. This year, in 12 games Kazbekov had just one assist.
“Today I join the entire OHL community in mourning the devastating loss of London Knights player Abakar Kazbekov,” said OHL commissioner David Branch. “Our deepest condolences are with his family and friends in Russia and his teammates, billets and friends here in Canada.”