We haven’t written much about prospects overseas and how their individual seasons are going, but when we saw what happened to Marat Khusnutdinov on Thursday, we knew we had to share it.
The Minnesota Wild’s 2020 second-round pick was playing in SKA St. Petersburg’s first-round matchup against Dinamo Minsk in the Gagarin Cup playoffs, when he went for a gutsy defensive play that got him a a stick whacked right in his face.
Oof. Khusnutdinov pulls off the diving poke check at the buzzer to knock the puck loose, but Duszak is already committed to the slapshot and hits him square in the face with the blade. That's brutal https://t.co/5562uds6Hp pic.twitter.com/5PpNirar8v— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) March 9, 2023
The 20-year-old center did not waste any time (because he is the best) and came back with a simple bubble visor and acting like nothing happened. And then, just because he is really a two-way monster on the puck, he made another sacrificing play to block a slapshot on a penalty kill.
He literally jumps back on the ice to kill a penalty and immediately blocks another slapshot up high. Marat Khusnutdinov is a maniac #mnwild https://t.co/WSTnu3ppT9 pic.twitter.com/uprXn825W6— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) March 9, 2023
Thankfully he did eventually get an assist on an empty-net goal goal to reward him for the bravery. Just an absolute Wild Man. We cannot wait until he makes the trip overseas next summer.
With 11 goals and 41 points in 63 games in the KHL this season, you could make the argument that he could jump into the NHL right now and not look worse for wear. He’s built in the same way as other Wild prospects, with the fact that he works so damn hard and cares so much about possession that he is a very good defender.
- In more depressing news, the Wild confirmed last night that Kirill Kaprizov will be out for three to four weeks after Logan Stanley fell on top of him. In response, they recalled Sammy Walker from Iowa. [Hockey Wilderness]
- The Wild signed defenseman prospect Kyle Masters to his three-year, entry-level contract after he has played an excellent year for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. [Hockey Wilderness]
- What happens after a trade is made in the NHL? A behind-the-scenes look at what really goes after one transaction is made and spawns a bunch of problems that need to be solved. [The Athletic]
- Nobody scores in Minnesota. [Defector]
Off the trail...
- Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand opened up about his team’s dominance, trolling the city of Detroit, and his favorite Ninja Turtle. [ESPN]
- The Edmonton Oilers came back from a deficit against the Boston Bruins last night, marking the first time that the history-chasing Bruins lost after having a lead after 20 minutes. [Yahoo Sports]
- Oh, and the Dallas Stars won last night, making it so they have two points over our Wild in the standings. But the neat fact is that they won by a score of 10-4. Ten goals! [TSN]