2010-11: Bogdan Yakimov played for Russia at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship, scoring 1 goal and adding 1 assist for 2 points in 7 games. Yakimov was chosen by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the second round, 32nd overall, of the 2011 KHL Draft.
2011-12: Yakimov played for Reaktor Nizhnekamsk of the MHL (juniors). In 46 games for that club, he scored 15 goals and added 10 assists for 25 points. In 2 playoff games for Reaktor, Yakimov scored 2 goals and added 1 assist for 3 points. Yakimov represented Russia at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist for 3 points in 4 games. Yakimov again played for Russia at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship, scoring 3 goals and adding 4 assists for 7 points in 6 games.
2012-13: Yakimov spent most of the season playing in the VHL, Russia’s second-level pro league. In 21 games for Dizel Penza, he scored 3 goals and added 6 assists and was +6 with 12 penalty minutes. Yakimov was loaned to Izhstal Izhevsk of the VHL, playing in 16 games for that club and scored 5 goals with 8 assists; finishing +8 with 2 penalty minutes. Yakimov played in Russia’s U-22 league, the MHL, with Reaktor Nizhnekamsk and scored 6 goals with 7 assists in 11 games. Ranked 11th amongst European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by Edmonton in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Yakimov skated in 33 KHL regular season games with Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik as a 19-year-old and was a teammate of fellow Oilers’ prospect Anton Slepyshev on the bronze medal-winning Russia U20 team at the 2014 World Junior Championship. He scored 7 goals with 5 assists and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, averaging 10 minutes of ice time with Nizhnekamsk. The club finished last in the Kharlamov Division and had three different head coaches during the year. Yakimov scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2 with 4 penalty minutes in seven games for Russia at the WJC. Russia defeated Canada, 2-1, in the bronze medal game. Yakimov signed a three-year entry-level contract with Edmonton in May 2014.
Yakimov is a huge, powerful young player who is a monster on the ice. He has strong hockey sense and good positional play, which makes up for his sub-par skating skills. Despite a lack of foot speed he has impressive hands and good offensive skills. After spending two seasons playing at the men's level as a teenager in Russia, Yakimov's game is a bit more mature than most 20-year-olds, though he will likely need time to adapt to the smaller rinks and tighter checking in North America.
Yakimov attended training camp with the Oilers and made his NHL debut in an October 14th game against the Kings before being assigned to AHL affiliate Oklahoma City the next day. Spending the 2014-15 season with the Barons, he has shown steady progress in his first pro season in North America. Long-term it is envisioned that he can one day be a power forward with the ability to go into the corners and in front of the net — supplementing the fast-skating and highly-skilled forwards currently in the Edmonton lineup. Yakimov's size makes him a menace in his own end and hard to knock off of the puck in the offensive zone, but it is unclear whether he has the top level skill to earn him a top-six spot at the NHL level.