Born April 24, 1989 (age 22) in Okene, Nigeria
Right winger for the Calgary Flames
I saw a few Blackhawks beat reporters tweeting the news that he’d be making his debut for the Flames, and I got curious. Akim was born in Nigeria, but his family moved to Kiev, Ukraine shortly after he was born and emigrated to Canada when he was 12 – he still speaks Russian around his family. He played in the OHL for the Windsor Spitfires, Sudbury Wolves and London Knights; during his time with the Wolves he was involved in a fight with teammate Steve Downie, who cross-checked him in the mouth after Akim refused to participate in a hazing incident. It was a big aftermath from the situation: Downie was suspended five games and had to go for counseling, Akim was suspended one game, the coach was suspended and then fired, and the team was fined.
After he was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2007, Akim was traded by Sudbury to the London Knights. After making his pro debut with the Rockford IceHogs, he was bounced back to juniors, and even after he signed with the Blackhawks in 2008, he was traded back to Sudbury. He stayed in the minors for the 2009-10 season, and he was eventually traded to the Atlanta Thrashers with Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager. Akim played with the Chicago Wolves and the Gwinnett Gladiators (Emma will like that) before that thing happened last May. When that happened, he shifted to their new minor league affiliates but was loaned to the Abbotsford Heat, the Calgary Flames’ AHL team, for this season. After a while, they decided to make the loan a trade, and he was officially a part of the Flames organization. This former Blackhawk will be making his NHL debut tonight, so let’s wish him the best of luck!