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A high-energy playmaker who makes things happen whenever he steps on the ice. A responsible two-way center who plays a strong 200-foot game. Slightly undersized but doesn’t shy away from action. Good leadership abilities.
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June 2022 – Khusnutdinov, the former 2nd round pick at the 2020 NHL draft for the Wild, had a strong showing during the KHL 21-22 season. Despite only being 19 years old during the season, Khusnutdinov played 32 games for perennial powerhouse, SKA St. Petersburg. In a notoriously challenging league for young players to get minutes in, Khusnutdinov utilized his strong two-way game to score five goals and seven assists while playing limited and responsible minutes. Although he remains unsigned by the Minnesota Wild, expect Khusnutdinov to continue growing in Russia for the 22-23 season, whereafter he will likely make the move to North America. Nathan Leblanc
February 2021 – Khusnutdinov has bounced around between three different leagues, tallying two KHL points and 14 in 10 junior games, as well as spending a handful of games in the second-circuit VHL. He was excellent at the World Juniors, tallying five points in seven games for Russia. Sam Happi
October 2020 – Khusnutdinov was drafted 37th overall by the Wild. Khusnutdinov could spend another two or three years in Russia before crossing the pond. Jokke Nevalainen
May 2020 – As one of the youngest players eligible for the 2020 Draft, Khusnutdinov had a lot to do to prove himself. No matter which way you cut it, he did it all. His main upside is displayed when his team isn’t in possession of the puck. Marat is a hound on the ice and he plays with a high-energy, high-event style. He uses his quick skating to shoot around the ice and pressure puck carriers as soon as they gain control. On offense, he thrives in transitional play, as he can use his speed as well as his low center of gravity to weave through defenders and create space to make things happen. He had a slow start to the season in raw production, but he was getting bottom-six minutes with teammates who weren’t doing him any favors. As the season progressed, he moved up SKA-1946’s ranks and found himself at home in the top-six, plus getting a more significant role on the power play. Due to his great skating ability and vision, Marat is mostly used as a playmaking center on offense. He has a knack for creating space in the offensive zone, usually by circling around to the point with his clean edge work. With space, he uses his high-level vision to find teammates and then slings accurate passes all around the ice. Even with the slow start, he finished the 2019-20 MHL season with a respectable 38 points in 44 games played. The main thing bringing Khusnutdinov down is his size. He is a strong player who doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game, but he does face issues when taking on the bigger players in the MHL. He will likely be given a chance in the KHL next year, but the Erie Otters do own his rights, so there is a possibility of him coming over to North America sooner than expected. Dylan Griffing