Khokhlachev: NHL Still My Dream
Alexander Khokhlachev builds toward dream of playing in the "best league in the world"
WILMINGTON, MA – While Alexander Khokhlachev rested in the locker room between practice sessions at the Bruins sixth annual Development Camp, GM Peter Chiarelli announced some exciting news about the forward’s future.
The B's have agreed to terms in principle with the Moscow, Russia-native on a one-year contract, which Chiarelli said will take effect as of July 1.
Khokhlachev plans to take part in the Bruins Development Camp and Training Camp in September, before returning to his home country, where he will play one season with his father’s Spartak Moscow squad of the Kontinental Hockey League.
“What we decided with Koko was that it’s a unique set of circumstances with his dad being the manager there, saying, look it’s one year and then back to North America,” Chiarelli told members of the media from Ristuccia Arena.
“He felt it was right for him and at the end of the day, we went along with him on this, so we’re going to support him on it.”
Khokhlachev had an impressive second season with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, where he tallied 25 goals and 44 assists for a total of 69 points in 56 games. He also took home the silver medal with Team Russia at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Unfortunately, his success was cut short when he suffered a season-ending kidney injury.
Chiarelli said the forward is not participating in any contact drills at Development Camp but is on the road to recovery, which is expected to take another seven to eight weeks.
Khokhlachev is looking forward to his season overseas, and thinks the KHL will prepare him for the level of play it takes to break onto the B’s roster and into the National Hockey League.
“I think I’m still too young right now,” he told a swarm of reporters. “[But] it’s the second best league in the world to the NHL.
“So, I think this will be good, and [I’m] really happy right now. [It’s] exciting to sign with Boston, and to be ready coming back next year and try to make the team.”
Chiarelli and Khokhlachev wanted to make it clear that the forward will return to North America soon and Boston will retain his rights.
“After one year, he’s under our purview,” the general manager said. “He wants to be an NHL player and he’s making strides towards that.”
“It’s still the best league in the world. I think [every] young guy who started to play hockey [had a] dream to play in the NHL with the Stanley Cup,” Koko added.
“So it’s still my dream.”