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Ruslan Iskhakov Signs Entry-Level Contract

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New York Islanders, Ruslan Iskhakov

Back in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft, with the 43rd pick, the New York Islanders selected forward Ruslan Iskhakov. On Wednesday, the now 21-year-old signed his three-year entry-level contract.

The Islanders had until June 1 to sign the centerman before they lost his rights.

This past season, the 5’8 centerman played just 25 games for Adler Mannheim of DEL, the highest league in Germany, as he missed time with a foot injury. In those 25 games, he notched seven goals and 15 assists before just one assist in four postseason games.

The Russian native burst onto the hockey season back during the 2015-16 season with Spartak Moskva in the Russian Under 16 league. In 28 games, Iskhakov notched 11 goals and 19 assists, with just four penalty minutes.

That same season, Iskhakov played in the Slovakia Under 18 League as a member of H.K. Trnava.

He only played in six regular-season games with two goals and one assist with his new club, but in 11 playoff games notched six goals and two assists.

In 2017-18, his age 17 season, Iskhakov had himself a season with 42 goals and 62 assists (104 points) in 44 games. The next-best point-getter that season was Yegor Stepanov, who only had 86 points, and who was also his teammate.

The Iskhakov magic continued in the postseason, as he scored nine goals and recorded nine assists in 11 games.

For his draft year, Iskhakov played for Krasnaya Armiya Moskva of the MHL, a junior league in Russia. In 33 games, the goals were not there with just six, but he added 33 assists to that stat line (39 points). In the playoffs, Iskhakov only had one goal to his name in four games.

That same year, Ishakov suited up for the Russian Junior National team, where he scored 11 goals with 12 assists in 29 total games for his country.

And then came a two-year stint at the University of Connecticut upon being drafted, where he recorded 15 goals and 27 assists in 64 total games.

Kale Howarth, a former teammate of Ruslan Iskhakov at U Conn, spoke on his skill:

After his sophomore year, Iskhakov left college to play in Liiga, the top league in Finland, as he donned the TPS sweater for 54 games with 10 goals and 28 assists before two-goal, five-assists postseason (13 games).

Then came his stint with DEL.

Now Iskhakov will be coming back to the states as he will play for the Bridgeport Islanders in 2022-23. The biggest thing about Iskhakov is his size, and the question is if he has the skill to counteract that “weakness”.

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