An 18-year old hockey player considered a rising star is dead after falling from an apartment building. The London Knights, a Canadian hockey team, announced that Abakar Kazbekov had suddenly passed in a Saturday tweet. In a statement issued jointly with the Ontario Hockey League, the two entities indicated that “our thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates.”
The Russian-born Kazbekov had been the Knights’ first round pick in the Ontario Hockey League’s 2021 under-18 draft, according to the London Free Press. The center had been considered a “rising hockey star” in the youth league.
Statement from the London Knights and the Ontario Hockey League on the sudden passing of Abakar Kazbekov. pic.twitter.com/JgpYOZq3fk— London Knights (@LondonKnights) December 17, 2022
London Police believe that the player died after a fall from a high-rise apartment building in the city’s downtown on Saturday morning, according to Insauga. An area of street outside the Azure Condominiums was cordoned off after authorities located a body at the scene, according to the Free Press. Police aren’t suspecting foul play in the youth’s death. It’s unclear what led to the apparent fatal fall from the building. Kazbekov had played in the Knights’ Friday match against the Owen Sound Attack the day before his passing, according to Insauga. The commissioner of the Ontario Hockey League mourned Kazbekov’s death in a statement. “Today I join the entire OHL community in mourning the devastating loss of London Knights player Abakar Kazbekov,” David Brance said of the young man’s passing. “Our deepest condolences are with his family and friends in Russia and his teammates, billets and friends here in Canada.” London Mayor Josh Morgan and Police Chief Steve Williams issued public statements in the wake of Kazbekov’s death, according to the Free Press. The London Knights’ scheduled Saturday contest against the Flint Firebirds was postponed in light of the sudden and unexpected passing. A planned OHL game between the Peterborough Petes-Kingston Frontenacs and the Erie Otters-Saginaw Spirit was also postponed in the wake of the fatality. Kazbekov’s team mourned his death with a tweet alluding to his jersey number.
Condolences to Abakar Kazbekov family and teammates. So sad. Godspeed Abakar. pic.twitter.com/XLrEA3fQ9C— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerDC) December 18, 2022
December 17, 2022The Ontario Hockey League is intended for players between the ages of 16 and 19, and it’s common for prospects in the league to be drafted by National Hockey League teams. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.