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NHL Scouts Excited About Mukhamadullin (+)

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The reviews are in for Shakir Mukhamadullin’s NHL debut.

The 2020 New Jersey Devils’ first-round pick, the centerpiece of last January’s Timo Meier trade, made his NHL debut for the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 27.

Sharks head coach David Quinn was impressed.

“There’s a lot to like about him,” Quinn said about the 6-foot-5 defender’s first big league stint. “Just his poise. His decision-making. He’s got a physicality to him.”

Sharks Locker Room: Keep Mukhamadullin in NHL? What’s Best for His Development?

Of course, Quinn is going to be complimentary of his player in public. Perhaps better evidence of Quinn’s feelings for Mukhamadullin was his usage.

In the San Jose Sharks’ three games before the All-Star break, the 22-year-old defenseman logged 21:09 of icetime, second only to Jan Rutta, and registered his first NHL assist and four penalty minutes. He also quarterbacked San Jose’s second-unit power play.

However, the San Jose blueline has been beset by injuries. So even that’s not the best bar. Another way to evaluate Mukhamadullin?

I turned to NHL scouts outside of the San Jose Sharks organization and asked them two questions: What do they think about Mukhamadullin? And do they think the Sharks should keep the Russian defenseman in the NHL or AHL after the break?

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