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Mukhamadullin Impresses, Robins Has First Fight in Sharks’ 5-3 Loss



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The San Jose Sharks couldn’t sweep the Rookie Faceoff.

After a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and steamrolling the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1 on Saturday, the Sharks dropped a 5-3 decision to the Arizona Coyotes in the Rookie Faceoff finale today.

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Bordeleau Dazzles in 5-1 Sharks Win, What’s Next Step for Him?

Felix Gagnon, Quentin Musty, and Brandon Coe scored, and Mason Beaupit stopped 29 of 34 shots.

There were bright spots, however, and head coach John McCarthy spotlighted them. Tristen Robins also spoke too.

Top Shark?

If there’s one San Jose Sharks prospect who impressed game after game at the Rookie Faceoff, it was Shakir Mukhamadullin.

The 6-foot-4 defenseman is still raw, but his tantalizing blend of skating and length and puck-moving was on full display.

Based on our peek of Mukhamadullin with the San Jose Barracuda last year, and his 10 points in 12 games, he’s very comfortable with the puck. The biggest question about his future might be his defending.

According to McCarthy, he’s seen growth there from last year.

“Yeah, I have,” he said. “I think he defended hard. I think his stick is improved. He’s defending hard around our net. I do see some improvement.”

The 2020 New Jersey Devils first-round pick made an impact both offensively and defensively.

“I thought he did well,” McCarthy said. “He’s been working on his gaps. He’s skating well, defending well. Moving the puck around on the power play. He handled the puck well.”

First Fight

Up to this point in his career, Tristen Robins has been using his hands to score. In his last three seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, the 5-foot-10 center piled up 174 points in 140 games. In his full-season pro debut last year, he had 17 goals and 21 assists.

Robins used his hands in a much different way this afternoon, getting into his first-ever fight. According to Hockey Fights, the San Jose Sharks’ 2020 second-round pick has never had a tussle in the WHL or AHL.

Robins, crashing the net before Quentin Musty’s goal, drew the attention of Ben Boyd.

“I was kind of caught off guard there. We scored a goal, I was trying to kind of get to the huddle,” Robins reported. “It’s a part of the game. If someone wants to call you out, you got to answer the bell.”

The 6-foot-4 Boyd didn’t intimidate Robins, who caught up in the fight after a slow start.

“I’m not really too concerned about the size of the guy,” Robins said. “It’s not really the size of the dog in the fight.”

McCarthy, who’s gotten into share of scraps, liked what he saw.

“He got to the net. I guess that started it for the other guy. But I like seeing him go to those areas. That’s where the goals are scored,” he said. “And to see him stand up for himself, that was great. He did fine.”

Training Camp Is Next

The entire Rookie Faceoff roster, including invites Ben Allison, Felix Gagnon, and Joseph Henneberry, is headed to San Jose Sharks training camp. Camp opens on Sept. 21:

Sharks Release 2023-24 Training Camp Roster, Starts Sept. 21

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