What Shakir Mukhamadullin, new Sharks prospects from Timo Meier trade bring
Scouting report on prospects Sharks acquired in Meier trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Sharks made a huge splash Sunday by trading 26-year-old right wing Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils in a colossal nine-player deal.
In return, the Sharks received three draft picks and four players: defensemen Shakir Mukhamadullin and Nikita Okhotiuk, and forwards Andreas Johnsson and Fabian Zetterlund.
While Johnsson has 248 NHL games under his belt, the other three players still are wetting their wings in professional hockey. So, let's dive in to what NHL experts have said about the Sharks' three newest youngsters:
Mukhamadullin, the No. 20 overall pick by New Jersey in the 2020 NHL Draft, is playing in his fourth KHL season for Salavat Yulaev Ufa, with six goals and 19 assists in 67 games this campaign.
Earlier this month, The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler ranked him as the Devils’ No. 5 prospect.
“Mukhamadullin’s upside remains fascinating,” Wheeler wrote. “… He has driven results at both ends this year with a game that looks more polished and has built a stronger foundation around his raw tools. Patience will still important, even with all of his pro experience, but he looks like he’s on a pretty clear NHL path now and there’s more to untap there.”
The Hockey Writers’ Alex Chauvancy ranked Mukhamadullin as New Jersey’s sixth-best prospect entering this season.
“Mukhamadullin is a bit of a unicorn when it comes to defense prospects,” Chauvancy wrote. “At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he does not play an overly physical game, but that isn’t necessarily what makes him unique.
“It’s rare to see a defenseman create the number of zone entries and exits Mukhamadullin does, and his success rate is quite good, too. There are questions about how his defensive shortcomings will translate to the NHL, but there’s no doubting he’s an intriguing prospect.”
Unlike Mukhamadullin, Okhotiuk arrives in the Bay Area with a dash of NHL experience, as he made his debut for the Devils last season. So far this season, Okhotiuk has scored one goal in 10 appearances with New Jersey, though he has spent most of the campaign with the AHL's Utica Comets, with two goals and four assists in 20 games.
The Athletic ranked Okhotiuk as the Devils’ 13th-best prospect in early February.
“Picture a shot-blocking, hard-nosed, stay-at-home defender who defends at a high enough level and can move the puck just enough to maybe make that style work in a game with fewer and fewer of those types left,” Wheeler wrote. “That’s Okhotiuk.
“A decade or two ago, he would have been closer to the norm than to the exception but now he’s angling to prove he can be the latter. He’s a throwback in the truest sense and a darn good one. He’s also the low-event, no-fuss, tough-to-play-against, staunch defender that teams still desire in a third-pairing, penalty-kill role.”
OK, Okhotiuk! pic.twitter.com/TJpo7p0t7D
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 15, 2023
Position: Left Wing
Zetterlund received his first taste of the NHL last year, and has spent the entire 2022-23 campaign with the Devils. The 23-year-old racked up six goals, 14 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-4 in 45 games.
As a consistent member of New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff’s lineup, Zetterlund graduated from The Athletic’s most recent list of top Devils prospects. But entering the season, NHL.com ranked Zetterlund as New Jersey’s fourth-best prospect, and The Hockey Writers slotted him at No. 7.
"Fabian has gotten measurably better in his three years in the AHL," Devils assistant general manager Dan MacKinnon said in August. "I'm excited to see what he brings. … He's got to play aggressive, he's got to score a little bit, but at 5-foot-11, he's an absolute beast."
FABIAN ZETTERLUND ð
He puts away the @Energizer OT winner and the @NJDevils improve to 9-3-0 on the season, winning their sixth game in a row! pic.twitter.com/LCL14hQtxx
— NHL (@NHL) November 6, 2022
Trading away Meier marks the end of an era in San Jose, but the future looks bright at SAP Center with this prospect haul.