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Name: Ruslan ZainullinCalgary Flames (#34/2000 NHL Draft)

Rating: 71
Height: 188cm/6'2"
Weight: 94kg/206.8 lb
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Right
Born: 1982-02-14
Birthplace: Kazan, Russia

Game Worn Jerseys:
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Home - Sold
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Away - Sold
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Home - Sold
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PLAYER PHOTOS:

Player News
09/26/2007 Round 5: Salavat Yulayev on top of Kazan in battle of giants
09/22/2007 Round 3: Alexei Yashin arrives in the Super League! (Box Scores)

Super League -  Alexei Yashin has arrived in the Super League, scoring his first goal and assisting on two others for HC Lokomotiv. Grigori Shafigullin (Nashville Predators) scored his second of the season after replacing injured Sergei Zinovjev (Boston Bruins) on Ak Bars top line, skating with Alexei Morozov (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Danis Zaripov . Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers) was impressive in Metallurg (Novokuznetsk)’s OT loss, saving his team on many occasions, but still not being able to stop the deciding shootout attempt from resurging Ruslan Zainullin (Calgary Flames), who earned his third tally of the season. READ MORE
09/16/2007 Round 2: Viktor Alexandrov (St. Louis Blues) and Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers) shine for Metallurg
09/14/2007 2007-08 Super League statistics now available!
08/28/2006 Ruslan Zainullin (Calgary Flames) waived by HC Lada
06/02/2006 Ruslan Zainullin (Calgary Flames) signs with Lada
11/08/2004 Round 26: Spartak - CSKA & Salavat - Severstal Game Notes
10/21/2004 Ruslan Zainullin (Calgary Flames #34/2000) breaks leg, out for a month
Talent Analysis:
At 6’2 and 211 pounds, Ruslan fits right into the NHL. Physically he has improved significantly over the past year. Ruslan is also a fast skater, capable of beating most players on a straightaway. He, however, is primarely a North/South type of player with little lateral movement. Ruslan is an average puckhandler with significant room for improvement, thus he prefers to outrace his oppponents. He has a powerful and well aimed shot. Neil Shaidullin from Kazan compared him to Denis Arkhipov, another product of Ak Bars Kazan who currently plays for the Nashville Predators, in his love to crash the net with his large size. He called him "taran", which means direct collision in Russian, because of his North/South style of play and constant drive towards the opponents net. Defensively, Ruslan is very aggressive. He has significantly improved his hitting on the open ice and next to the boards. Positionally he is a competent player, but leaves a lot of room for improvement. His biggest area for improved is the mental aspect of his game. Ruslan needs more experience and develop further his hockey sense in order to become truly useful to his team. He has the talent and physical ability to make an impact on the ice, but without experience, all his efforts provide little results. Outside of hockey, Ruslan behaves like any other player on the team. The hype that has risen regarding him in the United States has not gone to his head.
Back In Russia:
Ruslan was born in Kazan and has spent his entire career thus far in Ak Bars Kazan School of Hockey. The 1998-99 season was his fisrt full season with Ak Bars Kazan’s junior minor league affiliat, Ak Bars 2. Ruslan did not dissapoint, establishing himself as a power forward with 13 goals and 21 points in 36 games. He started the 1999-00 season with Ak Bars two and scored 16 goals in 16 games. His achievements did not go unnoticed and at just the age of 17 he was invited to Ak Bars to practic and earned a spot on the team’s fourth line. With little ice time Ruslan Ruslan managed to only contribute 2 points (1+1) in the 15 games he was with the team. Looking to develop their young talent, Ak Bars loaned Ruslan to Nefkhimik Nizhnekamsk for the remaider of the season. Ruslan failed to earn a spot on Neftkhimik’s lineup and was sent down to Neftkhimik’s Upper League affiliate, Neftkhimik Leninogorsk. Ruslan spent the entire 2000-01 season with Ak Bars Kazan. He played very little on Ak Bars’ fourth line, mainly in the checking role. According to an observer from Kazan, Ruslan appeared to try hard, but had difficulties understanding his responsibilities and positioning on the ice. During the 2001-02 season, Ruslan played on the Ak Bars fourth line along with Alexander Nikitenko and Yevgeniy Kudermetov. They get little ice time, but on a regular basis. According to an Ak Bars Kazan hockey observer, Neil Shaidullin, "the score little, but their effort can’t be questioned".

Ruslan has been a member of the Russian National team since the 1999-2000 season. He participated in the U18 Five Nations Tournament and performed well for the strong Russian squad, recording 3 points (2+1) and a +3 rating in 4 games. He was also one of Russia’s most prolific scorers (4th) at the 2000 U18 World Junior Championships, scoring 7 points (3+4) with an impressive +11 rating. During the 2001-02 season Ruslan is still elligble for the Russian U20 National Team. He has participated at the 4 Nations Tournament that took place in Finland during November, 2001. There he played on the second line centered by Yuri Trubachev and with Alexander Suglobov on the right wing.
NHL Outlook:
The Tampa Bay Lightning picked Ruslan Zainulling in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, 34th overall. Allegedly Tampa Bay’s management planned on selecting him 8th overall in the first round, but they then proceded to trade their 5th overall pick put aside for Nikita Alexeev and picked Nikita with their 8th pick. When Ruslan was still available at the 34th overall pick in the 2nd round, Tampa Bay did not hesitate for a second. During the 2000-01 season, Tampa Bay included Ruslan’s rights in their trade proposal for the Russian all star NHL goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin. The Phoenix Coyotes, optimistic regarding Ruslan’s potential, agreed to the trade package and Ruslan’s rights were transferred to Phoenix. Ruslan has spend most of the past 3 seasons with Ak Bars Kazan, one of the best teams in the Russian top hockey league, playing with veteran players at a very high level of hockey. Ruslan’s ice time has consistently increased from season to season. It has not necesserly been a positive experience for Ruslan. He is a power forward and was used to scoring consistently on the lower level, but managed to score 2 goals in the past 3 years for Ak Bars. His confidence may suffer because of the lack of production and ice time. His ice time has increased this past season and he has consistently earned 4th line duties with the opportunity of being promoted to a higher line if a player gets injured. His development has been on track thus far and with additional ice time and a little scoring, he could be ready for North America after this season. He should spend at least a season in the American minor leagues before joining the Coyotes. He does, however, posess the size and the skill level to make the Coyotes right out of training camp.
Statistics:
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2008-09 HC MVD (Tver) KHL (Reg.)49 12 8 20 32 -2
2007-08 HC MVD Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 0 0
2007-08 HC MVD Super League (Reg.)50 10 13 23 47 3
2006-07 HC MVD (Tver) Super League (Reg.)30 3 3 6 18 -4
2005-06 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)4 3 2 5 1 0
2005-06 Spartak (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 4
2005-06 Spartak (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)0 0 0 0 0
2004-05 Spartak (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)45 4 5 9 28 -4
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 0 -
2003-04 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)47 3 5 8 30 -
2002-03 Neftkhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Super League (Reg.)4 1 1 2 8 -2
2002-03 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)4 0 1 1 2 1
2001-02 Team Russia 82 4 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)3 1 0 1 6 -
2001-02 U20 Team Russia U20 IIHF WJC (Intl.)7 0 1 1 2 -1
2000-01 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Playoffs)1 0 0 0 0 -
2000-01 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)30 1 3 4 14 -
2000-01 Team Russia 82 4 Nations Tourn. (Intl.)3 1 0 1 2 -
1999-00 Ak Bars Kazan 2 1st League (Juniors)16 16 4 20 12 -
1999-00 Neftkhimik Leninogorsk 1st League (Juniors)2 2 0 2 2 -
1999-00 Ak Bars (Kazan) Super League (Reg.)15 1 1 2 4 -
1999-00 U18 Team Russia U18 WJC IIHF (Intl.)6 3 4 7 8 11
1999-00 Ak Bars Kazan 2 Regional Tourn. (Juniors)4 0 0 0 0 -
1998-99 Ak Bars Kazan 2 1st League (Juniors)36 13 8 21 22 -
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