New Jersey Devils: Don’t Freak Out About Shakir Mukhamadullin

Shakir Mukhamadullin #27 (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Shakir Mukhamadullin #27 (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils prospect, Shakir Mukhamadullin, had one tough game at the World Junior Classic.

The New Jersey Devils are a team that needs to be patient with their young players. There are a lot of very good ones in their organization and the future is looking very bright. One of those players is Shakir Mukhamadullin who the New Jersey Devils selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Devils made three picks in that draft and Mukhamadullin was their third and final pick. It was a pick that the Devils had from the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Blake Coleman trade.

Of course, when the Devils took him, it came as a bit of a shock. He wasn’t on many mock drafts in the first round but we all know about how COVID-19 might have changed the way some of the scouting went down in 2020. Regardless, that fact has made it easy to rip on the pick. His tough game in the World Junior Classic on Sunday didn’t really help.

Some people want to freak out over his bad game against the Team Czech but that is not necessary. He wasn’t good at all as he had turnovers all over the place, bad reads on opponent passes and missed coverages all over the place but that doesn’t mean that he is already a bust. He is 18 years old with a lot of development before he makes it to the NHL. These issues are all things he needs to learn from but he definitely has the skills to do it.

One positive to take from the game from Mukhamadullin is some of the power play work early in the game. They never scored but he looked pretty good quarterbacking one of their units. He looked like he had the ability to get the puck across to some of his forwards with the man advantage and even had some shots on goal. He was also pretty good in their win over Team USA on Christmas day. This is a pretty good prospect that the Devils fans need to be patient with.

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You simply cannot give up on a young defenseman early, especially after just a few games of the World Junior Classic. Devils prospect, Jaromir Pytlik didn’t dress for the Czech team for some reason but his teammates played a near-perfect game to upset the Russians. It wasn’t a good game for Mukhamadullin but he will rebound well and learn from his mistakes. There is a long way to go before we call him either a boom or bust.