|DRAFTED:||CGY: 2013-187 overall|
The Flames added a big-bodied, gritty defenceman in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft in Rushan Rafikov. The blueliner plays with a physical edge and can best be described as an aggressive defender. At 6-foot-1, Rafikov has a solid frame to grow into, which will make him an even more intimidating player to face.
While he has been labeled a stay-at-home defenceman, Rafikov makes a good outlet pass and shows poise when he chooses to carry the puck up-ice. He may have more of an offensive upside than previously thought, making him a very versatile prospect.
The Saratov, RUS product has spent the last two seasons playing for Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) and will suit up again for the club in the 2013-14 campaign.
In addition to his time with Yaroslavl, Rafikov also has plenty of international experience. He has played for Russia at the U-17 World Cup of Hockey, the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, the U-18 World Championships and the WJAC-19 event.