Islanders prospects daily: Ruslan Iskhakov begins quest for championship

New York Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov. Photo property of TPS. Used by permission of Eero Tuominen (TPS Head of Marketing and Communications).
New York Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov. Photo property of TPS. Used by permission of Eero Tuominen (TPS Head of Marketing and Communications). /

There were no prospects from the New York Islanders system in action yesterday and only one on the ice today. So this daily update will be a bit different than usual.

I’ll detail the series, how Ruslan Iskhakov has played against this opponent over the season, and briefly talk about what kind of player he’d be at the NHL level.

The Liiga finals open today between Lukko and TPS. They finished 1 and 3 in the standings over the season based on points-per-game, but they finished 1 and 2 in terms of points. HIFK, the team TPS eliminated in the semis ranked second in terms of points-per-game

New York Islanders Ruslan Iskhakov to Liiga finals

Like most of the other series in the Liiga playoffs, the finals is also a best-of-five. The only series that wasn’t a best-of-five was the play-rounds. Those were a best-of-three series.

Here are when games will be played:

  • Game 1: May 7 (Today)
  • Game 2: May 8
  • Game 3: May 10
  • Game 4 May 11 (If needed)
  • Game 5: May 13 (If needed)

TPS is 6-3 in the postseason while Lukko is 6-1. Again, Lukko is the top seed with a 38-7-15 record (2.117 points per game). The black and white hold a 27-18-14 record (1.797 points per game).

These two teams have faced off against each other seven times. TPS holds a 1-3-2 record and a -8 goal differential over those games. Things aren’t much better on an individual level for Ruslan Iskhakov.

He’s only played five of those seven games against Lukko this year. He registered no goals no helpers, averaged 2.2 shots on goal, and 26.34 faceoff win percentage. That’s just not good enough.

If TPS is going to stand a chance in this series, Iskhakov is going to have to play a big part.

(Note: Before I published this the puck dropped on Game 1 and Iskhakov provided the primary helper on the game and series-opening goal.)


I absolutely expect Iskhakov to sign with the Islanders the second the season is over. I don’t expect him to make the NHL immediately but it’s interesting to think about what kind of player he might be.

We know he isn’t necessarily big. He’s only 5’6″ and about 170lbs. Again, he’s not big, but he’s incredibly skilled. There’s a reason they call him the Moscow Wizard.

Translation factors are a great way to try and project how production today at the Liiga level could translate at the NHL level. Based on his point production with TPS (38 points in 54 games, which is 0.70 points per game), he’s essentially a 26 point player right now.

That’s assuming he jumps to the NHL tomorrow. Again, that’s not going to be the case. He’ll have a quick stop at the AHL level first. There, I’d expect him to put up great production, assuming he lines up with offense-first players. He’ll become more than a potential 26 point player at the NHL next year if he players with the right people.