Boston Bruins prospect forward Alexander Khokhlachev has what it takes to be a player in the National Hockey League, but when is the question? Khokhlachev who is a center was the Bruins second round pick (40th overall) in 2011, and showed great potential in the Ontario Hockey League before being selected to the NHL Bruins.
The 5’10” Moscow Russia native played his junior hockey for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, and took no time for his skill to get adjusted to the North American style of hockey. Playing in 152 games with the Spitfires, Khokhlachev scored 81 goals, and 112 assists. His best season in the OHL was in the 2010-11 year as a rookie where he posted 34 goals, 42 assists. After the Bruins selected Khokhlachev in the NHL Entry Draft, he chose to go back to his homeland Russia to play with the Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. The 2012-12 start in the KHL was not a good one for Khokhlachev only appearing in 26 games for Spartak, scoring only two goals and five assists, while racking up 20 penalty minutes. Khokhlachev’s struggles in the KHL were frustrating him, and he decided leave the league, to return to Windsor (OHL) who claimed him on re-entry waivers.
After finishing the 2012-13 season in the OHL, the Boston Bruins recalled Khokhlachev to play in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins for the remainder of their season. In 11 games he scored two goals and one assist. Last year (2013-14) was the first full season in the AHL for Khokhlachev as he impressed the Bruins organization with 21 goals and 36 assists in 65 games as a rookie. He was also sensational in the playoffs for the Baby B’s, appearing in 12 post season games scoring nine goals and five assists.
This season with Providence Khokhlachev is off to a good start posting four goals and 4 assists in nine games played.
With names like Bergeron, Campbell, Kelly, Krejci, and Soderberg, it is going to be very difficult for Khokhlachev to get the call up for good in the NHL, but he could get a few games this season due to possible injuries. Next season on the other hand should be an interesting one for the Bruins due to the fact that the team has players that are currently on their last year of contracts.
Bruins Center Gregory Campbell is playing in his last year of his contract, and if the Bruins choose not to resign him, this could create a fantastic opportunity for Khokhlachev to get in the Bruins lineup on a steady basis skating on the fourth line for a Bruins team who are looking to create four lines of skating depth in the future. Khokhlachev is a very creative puck handler and passer. He has very good vision on the ice while playing an all-round game. He has a great shot and explosive speed, but his defensive game is in need of some work. He has every skill that an NHL player has, but struggles when changing directions and skating backwards.
I believe that Khokhlachev is NHL ready, and can contribute, but will have to continue to work hard this year in Providence and develop properly. Below are some video’s showing the skill and potential that he couldd bring to any National Hockey League team.