Shakir Mukhamadullin got up early on Wednesday in Russia and for good reason.
Out of bed at 6:15 in the city of Ufa almost 1,000 miles east of Moscow, tucked inside the Urals, the tall (6'4") and rangy defenseman got the early-morning pick-me-up that any young hockey player dreams about.
"I never thought I would go so high, in the first round," said Mukhamadullin, in interpreted remarks from Russian, "my heart was beating so hard, so fast."
His modesty and excitement aside - even speaking in another language and through the foggy lens of a Zoom call it was obvious how elated the 18-year-old was - Mukhamadullin has been pegged as a first-round around 20th since about the mid-point of 2019-20.
He is a mobile and big defender with significant offensive skills playing for Ufa, the KHL club whose proper name is Salavat Yuleav Ufa but is commonly referred to by the city where its based, which is where Mukhamadullin grew up.