2009-10: Emil Galimov skated for Reaktor Nizhnekamsk in the U22 MHL and played for Russia’s U18 team in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and 2010 World Junior Championship tournaments. Galimov scored 6 goals with 4 assists and was -19 with 69 penalty minutes in 32 games for Reaktor. Reaktor finished fourth in the East Division and Galimov played in 1 playoff game, finishing +1 with an assist. In four games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes. In seven games at the WJC he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes. Russia finished fourth at the WJC after falling to Finland in the bronze medal game.
2010-11: Galimov made his KHL debut as an 18-year-old, skating in 18 games for Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik and played for the club’s U22 team Reaktor in the MHL. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was an even plus/minus with 13 penalty minutes in 18 KHL games. Neftekhimik made the playoffs after finishing fourth in the Kharlamov Division. Galimov did not play in any playoff games. He scored 11 goals with 7 assists and was +5 with 34 penalty minutes in 27 games for Reaktor. In five MHL playoff games he scored 3 goals and was -1 with 27 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Galimov began the year with Neftekhimik and was one of the young players that went to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to help re-build the club when much of the KHL club was lost in a tragic airplane accident in September. In eight KHL games for Nizhnekamsk he had no points and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes. Playing for Lokomotiv, which took the ice in December and played a 22-game schedule in the VHL (Russian second league), Galimov tied for the team lead with 9 goals and had 4 assists in 17 games; finishing +8 with 12 penalty minutes. Yaroslavl reached the VHL playoff semifinals and in ten games Galimov scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was an even plus/minus with 10 penalty minutes. In 17 MHL games between Reaktor and Loko Yaroslavl he scored 9 goals with 9 assists and was +7 with 35 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Playing for a rebuilt Yaroslavl KHL squad that included one-time NHL star Niklas Hagman and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov (during the NHL lockout), Galimov appeared in 33 games and had a career-high 7 goals and 13 assists; finishing +8 with 10 penalty minutes. Lokomotiv was second in the Kharlamov Division. Galimov had 2 assists and was an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes in six playoff games. In five VHL games with Lokomotiv’s second team he scored 4 goals with 1 assist and was +2 with 4 penalty minutes. Drafted as a 21-year-old, Galimov was not among the 130 European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings when he was selected by San Jose in the seventh round (207th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Emil Galimov is an incredibly gifted scoring forward with legitimate offensive potential. Like most young Russians taken in the later rounds of the NHL draft though, his game is very one dimensional. He plays without much grit or defensive reliability. His shot can already beat NHL caliber goaltenders and his puck skills are well above average. Despite what some might think, he is a high character player with strong leadership qualities. While he is years away from ever playing in North America, he projects to be a prototypical top-six Russian forward with marginal defensive skills.
Galimov will continue to play for Lokomitiv in the KHL for the foreseeable future as he is signed until 2015.