Khokhlachev still playing in KHL despite reduced role

805290.jpg

Khokhlachev still playing in KHL despite reduced role

The rumors of Russian prospect Alex Khokhlachevs swift exit from the KHL may perhaps come true eventually.

But those whispers of an OHL return for Koko appear to be premature at this point according to members of the Bruins front office. Bs assistant general manager Don Sweeney indicated to CSNNE.com last week that Bostons 2011 second round pick was still playing in the KHL for the Moscow Spartak team operated by his father, and that there was no concrete plan to have him ship back to the OHLs Windsor Spitfires.

There was speculation Koko was headed back to Windsor when the Spitfires cleared off a roster spot last week presumably for the dynamic Russian scorers return, but Khokhlachev still appears committed to playing in his home country for the time being.

Koko is still in Moscow and there is nothing definitive about him coming back to North America, said Sweeney. Hes still playing for his fathers team currently. The biggest thing we want to see with a young player like that is the ice time and the situations where he can continue to develop.

Its debatable if thats what is currently going on with Khokhlachev as he appears to have been lost in the shuffle at the KHL level.

The 19-year-old Koko is struggling with two points (one goal, one assist) and a minus-5 in 16 games with Spartak, and those observing the Bs prospect in Russia say hes seen limited ice time in a thirdfourth line role. Some of Khokhlachevs reduced role can be traced back to the influx of NHL players to the KHL brought on by the lockout, but its pretty clear that Koko needs to play more at this key stage of his professional development.

Khokhlachev averaged just under 30 goals and 73 points in his two seasons with Windsor, and would be placed back in a lead offensive role if he did indeed return to the Spitfires at some point this year.

Khokhlachev and the Bruins have both indicated that the talented youngster is scheduled to attend Bostons training camp next season with the lofty intent of winning an NHL job.

Sheary, Crosby lead Penguins past Bruins, 5-1

penguins_bruins_crosby_012217.jpg

Sheary, Crosby lead Penguins past Bruins, 5-1

PITTSBURGH - Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby added his league-leading 28th and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth straight game, 5-1 over the Boston Bruins.

Pittsburgh led 2-1 through two periods before breaking out in the third with three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

Sheary scored his 17th and has nine goals in nine games. Bryan Rust added his 12th and Patric Hornqvist his 11th for the Penguins, who won a season-high seventh straight at home. Pittsburgh the NHL's best home team, is 13-0-1 in its last 14 home games.

Evgeni Malkin had two assists for a season-best seven-game point streak. Crosby added two assists for a three-point game. Matt Murray made 44 saves to win his fourth straight game.

David Krejci scored his 11th for the Bruins, who have lost four straight and five of their last six.