Rushan Rafikov

Aaron Vickers

Rafikov is a very physical two-way defenseman. He has a good fluid stride that generates healthy amounts of speed, solid balance and strong transitions. He holds some good offensive instincts and transitions the puck very effectively and makes strong reads on when to pinch and really adds another dimension to the attack with his pinches. He possesses an effective shot that is not the heaviest but he gets it on net and seemingly is difficult to handle because of a deceptive release, causing plenty of rebound chances. He makes crisp passes and displays solid vision of the ice. His offensive upside is not great but enough to list him as a two-way player. Physically, he is mean, almost dirty at time and this type of demeanor could see him nabbed well ahead of where we project his talents. He loves to play the body and get under your skin. He’s not shy to hack and whack when the refs back is turned and then play innocent to draw a penalty. He needs to bulk up to continue this role at the next level. He plays with good overall defensive positioning but could use work to maintain better gaps on a consistent basis. (May 2013)