Since being drafted in the second round by the NY Islanders in 2018, Ruslan Iskhakov has bounced around between North America and Europe. After being drafted out of the MHL (Russia's version of juniors), the Moscow native began his collegiate career at the University of Connecticut. Playing in 64 games totaling 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in Storrs, CT, Iskhakov decided to make his return to Europe, joining TPS Turku in Finland's Liiga.
In Finland, Iskhakov seemed to find his groove during his one season with TPS. Playing with fellow Islanders draft pick Eetu Liukas, Iskhakov finished tied for third in team point production (10-28-38) on a TPS club that finished third in the Liiga regular season.
Following only one season in Finland, Iskhakov made his way to Adler Mannheim of the German DEL. The German league may be a step down from Liiga, but Iskhakov took full advantage, putting up some impressive numbers. Due to Injury, the Russian dynamo only skated in 25 games with Adler Mannheim, accruing 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists).
Iskhakov is an offensive-minded playmaker with outstanding puckhandling skills. With his slight frame, Iskhakov is capable of squeezing through tight spaces while maintaining control of the puck. With a pass-first mentality, he looks to dish the puck to teammates in a high-caliber scoring position.
The defensive end is where Iskhakov will need to make the most improvement to his game. At times he can become lackadaisical in his own end, meandering around until his teammates retrieve the puck. Next season Iskhakov will be playing with the Bridgeport Islanders in the AHL, a more challenging league than both Liiga and the DEL. It will be difficult with the smaller ice and extra physicality to go unnoticed with a weak defensive game.
Iskhakov has been invited to the Islanders rookie camp and will have an opportunity to impress Lou Lamoriello and Lane Lambert before crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge on his way to Bridgeport.