BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, July 1, that the club has signed center Chris Kelly to a four-year contract through the 2015-16 season, goaltender Tuukka Rask to a one-year contract through 2012-13 and forward Alexander Khokhlachev to an entry-level contract. Kelly’s contract is worth an average of 3 million annually over the four years of his deal. Rask’s deal will be worth 3.5 million over the course of his one-year deal, and Khokhlachev’s entry-level contract will take effect once he begins playing in North America.
The 2011-12 season marked Kelly's first full season as a member of the Bruins after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators on February 15, 2011, in exchange for a 2011 second-round pick (Shane Prince). The center’s 20 goals marked the highest single-season total of his NHL career, having notched 15 goals in two previous seasons, and his 39 points were also a career high. He broke the plus-30 plateau for the first time in his career with a plus-33 rating to rank third in the league and tied with teammate Brad Marchand.
In his tenure with Boston, the 31-year-old has skated in 106 games, recording 22 goals, 22 assists and 47 penalty minutes. Kelly has appeared in 32 postseason contests with the Bruins, tallying six goals and 10 assists for 16 points. During Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup championship run, he played in all 25 playoff games and recorded five goals and eight assists for 13 points, which doubled his combined previous postseason outputs.
For his career, the 6'0", 198-pound native of Toronto, Ontario has played in 569 NHL games with Ottawa and Boston and has registered 97 goals, 123 assists and 296 penalty minutes. Since Kelly began his first season on an NHL roster in October 2005, he has missed just nine games throughout those seven full NHL seasons. In 20 playoff games with Ottawa in 2006-07, he recorded seven points (3-4) as he helped the Senators advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final, where they fell to Anaheim.
Kelly began his professional career with Ottawa’s American Hockey League affiliates – first with the Grand Rapids Griffins and then the Binghamton Senators from 2002-2005. Prior to the AHL, he spent four seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights and Sudbury Wolves from 1997-2001. Kelly was drafted by the Senators in the third round (94th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
During the 2011-12 season, Rask posted an 11-8-3 record with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. The 25-year-old’s season ended early due to a lower abdomen/groin strain suffered against the New York Islanders on March 3. In his second full NHL season in 2010-11, the netminder registered an 11-14-2 record in 29 regular season games, including two shutouts, helping the Bruins on the path to their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years.
In 2009, Rask opened the season on an NHL roster for the first time in his career. In 45 games during the 2009-10 campaign – his highest NHL season total – Rask went 22-12-5 with five shutouts, while leading the league with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He became the first Boston goaltender with a goals-against average below 2.00 since 1998-99 and the 1.97 that season was the lowest single-season mark by any Bruins netminder since Frank Brismek’s 1.57 in 1938-39. Rask also posted a 7-6 record in the 2010 playoffs with a 2.61 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 13 games.
Rask made his NHL debut for the Bruins on November 20, 2007 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and recorded his first NHL victory in that game. He spent the majority of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins, where he had a 60-33-6 record and five shutouts in 102 appearances and was ranked second in the AHL with 33 regular season wins in 2008-09. He played in five NHL games with Boston in that span, registering a 3-1-1 record.
The 6’3’’, 169-pound goaltender from Tampere, Finland played two seasons in the Finnish Elite League with Ilves Tampere before coming to North America in 2007. He also represented his country in three World Junior Championships from 2005-07 and was named the tournament’s top goaltender in 2006. Rask was acquired by the Bruins from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycroft on June 24, 2006. He was drafted by Toronto in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Khokhlachev, an 18-year-old forward from Moscow, Russia, has played the past two seasons with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. In the 2011-12 regular season with the club, he posted 25 goals and 44 assists for 69 points in 56 games, with 32 penalty minutes. Khokhlachev’s season ended abruptly after suffering a lacerated kidney on March 3 in a game against the Plymouth Whalers. At the time of his injury, he was 20th in the OHL in scoring and had a team-high 25 goals and 69 points.
In 2010-11, the 5’10”, 183-pound forward compiled 34-42=76 totals with 28 penalty minutes in 67 games for the Spitfires. Khokhlachev also recorded 9-11=20 totals with eight penalty minutes in 18 playoff games for Windsor, who fell to the Owen Sound Attack in the OHL Western Conference Finals. His 20 points placed him sixth among all skaters in the playoffs and second on his team.
Internationally, Khokhlachev earned a silver medal with Team Russia in the 2012 World Junior Championship, tallying four goals and one assist with six penalty minutes in six games. He led the team in face-off percentage with 53.27 and registered a game-high 12 face-off wins in the gold-medal game against Sweden. In the 2010 U-17 World Hockey Challenge, he scored a tournament-high five goals and added eight assists in six games for Russia, along with being named to the All-Star Team. Khokhlachev was drafted by Boston in the second round (40th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Fans interested in learning more about Boston Bruins players, or ticket options, should visit the team website at www.bostonbruins.com or call 617.624.BEAR.
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