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Preview/Lines #51: Mukhamadullin Holding His Own Defensively



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shakir Mukhamadullin has impressed David Quinn since training camp.

And Quinn has grown more impressed, since the top San Jose Sharks prospect’s call-up last week, after Mukhamadullin posted 26 points in 39 games to start the season with the San Jose Barracuda.

While Mukhamadullin hasn’t recorded his first NHL point yet, in two games with the San Jose Sharks, Quinn has liked what he’s seen, especially considering this is the defenseman’s first full pro season in North America.

“Sometimes, what can get lost in all of this transition, a player coming [in], so much is new to him. I mean, not only the hockey end of it, but you’re coming over from Russia,” Quinn said. “What gets lost in all of this is the fact that this guy’s a 21-year-old kid. I just think the more comfortable he got, the better he played. He’s a confident kid. He’s a coachable kid. He’s got an edge to him. You can see why he got drafted in the first round.

“I mean to be this big and escape the way he does and have the poise and the puck skills he has, is very impressive.”

It’s not everyday that a 6-foot-5 defenseman a small man’s game with the puck.

But just as important? Mukhamadullin has been solid defensively. That was one of the question marks about the 2020 New Jersey Devils’ first-round pick, the centerpiece of last year’s Timo Meier trade, if he had the strength and the bite to defend in the best league in the world.

An NHL scout from outside the San Jose Sharks organization told SJHN yesterday that Mukhamadullin hasn’t looked overwhelmed defensively so far.

“His intentions are good defensively,” Quinn said. “Watching him with the Cuda, and all the reports we got, all indications were he was ready for this. And based on what I saw in training camp too, he wasn’t overwhelmed defensively, even in training camp.”

San Jose Sharks (14-32-4)

Kaapo Kahkonen will start.

This is how the Sharks, 2-0 victors over the Seattle Kraken, lined up yesterday.

Kyle Burroughs, however, will slide in for Ty Emberson, scratched for both health (day-to-day with an upper-body injury) and performance reasons.

Anaheim Ducks (17-30-2)

This is how the Ducks lined up in their last game, a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild:

Where to Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks is 7:30 PM PT at Honda Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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