2009-10: Ivan Nalimov played for the Metallurg Novokuznetsk 1994 team in the Sibir region of Russia and represented Sibir in the U16 national tournament.
2010-11: Nalimov skated for the Metallurg Novokuznesk 1994 team and played for Sibir in the Russian U18 Championship tournament. He represented Russia in international play for the first time; skating in the U17 Four Nations tournament in Podolsk in May against Belarus, Moscow Region and the Russia U16 team. He made two starts in the Four Nations tournament — a 4-2 win over Moscow Region and a 5-4 win over the Russia U16 team. Nalimov was selected by SKA St. Petersburg in the first round (12th overall) of the 2011 KHL Draft.
2011-12: Nalimov was the backup goalie to 20-year-old Evgeny Ivannikov in his first season with SKA-1946 in the U22 MHL in Russia. He played for Russia in the 2011 U19 World Junior A Challenge and at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. In 20 regular season games for SKA-1946 he was 7-6-3 with one shutout and had a 2.24 goals against and .920 save percentage. Nalimov did not see any action in the playoffs as Ivannikov started all five games. Nalimov had a 3.73 goals against and .898 save percentage in two games for Russia at the WJAC and was 1-0 in his only game for the U18 team at the WJC; stopping 22 of 23 shots in a 4-1 win over Germany in the fifth place game.
2012-13: Nalimov took over as the starter for SKA-1946 in his second season — appearing in 47 of 60 games. He was 23-11-10 with four shutouts and had a 2.12 goals against and .931 save percentage. SKA-1946 was third in the MHL West Conference. Nalimov was 3-4 in seven playoff games and had a 3.25 goals against and .891 save percentage.
2013-14: Nalimov made his pro hockey debut — appearing in one game for VMF-Kareliya St. Petersburg in the Russia second league, the VHL — and was impressive in international play in an otherwise challenging season for the 19-year-old. He stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 3-1 win over Yuzhny Ural on October 24th in his only VHL start. Nalimov played in twelve MHL games for SKA-1946 and was 5-7 with a 2.84 goals against and .894 save percentage. Playing for Russia in the 2013 Subway Series in Canada against all-star teams from the three CHL major junior leagues, he was 3-1 in four games with a 2.25 goals against and .945 save percentage. He appeared in two games at the 2014 World Junior Championship and was 0-1 with a 2.65 goals against and .897 save percentage. Nalimov was selected by Chicago in the sixth round (179th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft in his third year of draft eligibility.
Nalimov is an interesting goalie with some good upside, but is a bit streaky and needs to work to boost his game-to-game consistency. He needs to gain some pro league experience, but he showed some good skills in the Russian junior league, in particular related to his reflexes, use of his size, and agility. Nalimov also needs to improve his goaltending technique and positional play. He also tends to leave some unneeded rebounds, and tends to give up a bit after a soft goal or some fast goals.
Nalimov is playing for KHL club Admiral Vladivostok, now in its second season, as a rookie. He is currently sharing time with former CSKA Moscow back-up Ilya Proskuryakov. A long-term project in an organization that is fairly deep in goaltending talent, Nalimov may be a few seasons away from playing in North America.