Erie, Pennsylvania – The Erie Otters are pleased to announce the selection of forward Marat Khusnutdinov (KOOZ-NUH-DEAN-OFF) eighth overall in the first round of the 2019 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
“We’re thrilled to add a talent like Marat to our organization,” Otters General Manager Dave Brown announced. “He brings us speed, tenacity, and playmaking ability that will complement our team’s strengths, and is a proven leader captaining his Russian squad to a gold medal at the U17 Hockey Challenge last November. Marat brings a wealth of experience to Erie, highlighted by his international play with Russia that saw great success this past year at under-17 and under-18 events. We’re excited to welcome Marat to the Otters family and watch him flourish in Erie.”
Khusnutdinov, a 5’9”, 152-pound forward, spent the majority of the 2018-19 season with Vityaz Podolsk U17 in the Russia U17 league where he totaled 18 points (8G-10A) in 11 games played. The Moscow, Russia native also dressed in one game for the Vityaz Podolsk U18 last season scoring a goal and chipping in two assists.
Internationally, the 16-year-old captained Russia to a gold medal at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last November where he assisted on the tying goal to help his squad come from behind to down Finland 2-1 in the gold medal final. His five points (2G-3A) in six games were good for third most on his team during the tournament. Most recently Marat represented his home country in the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship in Sweden, helping Russia to a victory over 2019 NHL first overall pick Jack Hughes and powerhouse United States in the semi-final to advance to the gold medal game where they ultimately fell to host Sweden 4-3 in overtime. Khusnutdinov added a goal and two assists in seven games on the way to a U18 silver medal.
Khusnutdinov is eligible for the 2020 National Hockey League Entry Draft in Montreal, Quebec next June.
Season ticket memberships for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and can be purchased at the Erie Otters front office located at 201 E. 8th Street, or by calling 814-455-7779. Purchase information for Erie Otters 2019-20 individual game tickets will be released in the near future. For the latest Otters news, visit www.ottershockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters) and Instagram (@ErieOtters).