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UConn men’s hockey’s Ruslan Iskhakov signs pro contract in Europe

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Conditions brought on by the COVID-19 crisis forced Iskhakov to turn pro.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic already impacted UConn men’s hockey when it ended the Hockey East Playoffs before they even began. Now, the coronavirus has struck the program again. Rising junior forward Ruslan Iskhakov has left the program due to a personal situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and signed with HC TPS in Finland, according to a source. They declined to get into specifics with respect to Iskhakov’s privacy.

Iskhakov leaves the program in good terms and both himself, UConn and the New York Islanders — who hold his NHL rights — would’ve preferred he stay in Storrs under normal circumstances. The Huskies are supportive of his decision.

Last season, the Moscow native finished seventh on the team with 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) and totaled 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) over two years with the Huskies.

While the loss of Iskhakov hurts, UConn is equipped to handle it. The Huskies are bringing in an elite group of forwards in Cassidy Bowes, Nick Capone, Hudson Schandor, Artem Shlaine and Gavin Puskar, with Capone and Shlaine expected to be selected in the upcoming NHL Draft. UConn is also looking to bring in another forward to replace Iskhakov but nothing is imminent at the moment.

Here’s what UConn’s roster chart looks like with Iskhakov’s departure: