The New Jersey Devils took defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin with the 20th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Weight: 179 lbs
Club: Salavat Yulaev Ufa
(Stats courtesy: Eliteprospects.com)
Don't let Mukhamadullin's underwhelming statistics fool you - the KHL doesn't allow many opportunities for young players and the Russian rearguard has never played more than eight minutes in a game. But Mukhamadullin is a strong skater who moves around well for his size and has an absolute cannon for a shot.
Mukhamadullin has shown he can be a valuable two-way defenseman with plenty of offensive upside when given a chance. He tallied the championship-clinching goal for Russia in double-overtime at the World Junior A Challenge in December and racked up 10 points in 13 games with Tolpar Ufa in Russia's junior league.
"He’s a smooth north-south skater whose feet rarely drag through his extensions or his pick-up, which is a selling point for a player his size. But he’s also a mobile east-west skater, who despite being long and lanky, does an excellent job opening up his stride to go heel-to-heel. Offensively, he likes to use his one-timer, but his follow-through on his wrister lacks coordination and balance," The Athletic's Scott Wheeler said.
"The left-handed shot showed he's capable of playing against men in the KHL at 18. He can use his strength and size (6-3, 178) to his advantage defensively, and his offensive game is developing quickly. He's a good passer and has shown he can make big plays in big situations," said NHL.com's Adam Kimelman.