WILMINGTON, Mass. There was finally some clarity on the Alex Khokhlachev To Russia with Love situation on Friday morning.
The Bruins 2011 second round pick will play for the KHLs Spartak club this coming season, and then will return back to the Bruins organization the following season. That became the new plan after Khokhlachev signed an entry-level rookie deal with the Bruins that becomes official on July 1.
If they hadnt signed Khokhlachev now, they would have been under the gun to sign him by June 1, 2013 in order to retain his rights.
Kokos year in Russia wont count toward the three-year contract with the Bruins, and instead wont be activated the following season when he returns to North American ready for pro hockey. The highly-skilled Russian forward showed his abilities while topping 30 goals in his first season for the OHL Windsor Spitfires, and was excellent after arriving in shape for last falls Bs training camp.
The 19-year-old will still take part in Bs training camp again this fall before heading back to Russia to be reunited with his father, Igor. The lacerated kidney Koko suffered while skating for the Spitfires at the end of last years junior hockey season is still affecting the Russian forward at development camp, but hes expected to make a full recovery by this falls full training camp.
Weve come to terms with Khokhlachev. Because of his injury he wont be taking any contact for seven or eight weeks, said Chiarelli. The plan is now for him to play in Russia. Hell attend our camp and then hell go to play in Russia for Spartak where his father is a manager.
After the one year hell be under his purview. His goal is still to play in the NHL and hes making strides toward that. What we decided with Koko is that its a unique set of circumstances with his dad being the manager there. We said its one year and back to North America. He felt it was the right move and so were going along with it and supporting it.
CHICAGO – Don Sweeney said the Bruins knew and expected they were going to lose one of three players in the NHL expansion draft, and it’s pretty clear it was going to be Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller or Colin Miller leaving the team. The B’s took Kevan Miller out of the equation by leaving him on the protection list after a strong season while also playing some of his best hockey in the playoffs.
That left McQuaid and Miller with each of the two D-men standing an equal chance of getting selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, and the 24-year-old puck-moving Miller going to Vegas for the time being. It remains to be seen if Miller sticks with the Golden Knights, or if there is an eventual plan to flip him elsewhere like perhaps an interested party in Toronto.
Sweeney said the Bruins didn’t want to lose a player with potential like Miller, but it’s also true that he would have been stuck behind younger, better D-men on the depth chart with Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo as better right-handed options.
“It was an interesting process to go through. It was hard at times because you felt like other teams were able to find deals to keep their team together while you felt vulnerable in that regard,” said Sweeney at the B’s team hotel in Chicago during a Thursday availability with the media. “You knew you were going to lose a good player. You knew they had targeted three players on our team that we felt they would target, and unfortunately we’re losing a good, young player.
“We thought highly of Colin. He was part of a big trade for us and we wish him well moving forward. We thank for him doing his part with the organization. We lost a good player.”
Clearly, the Bruins lost a defenseman with skills and youth on his side, but it’s also a young guy that hasn’t put it all together yet while never posting more than 16 points in each of his two seasons with the Black and Gold. Perhaps he will put together the offensive package at his next landing spot after showing flashes in Boston over the last two years, but that unknown factor while no longer being considered a prospect is the reason he didn’t find himself on the protected D list along with Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.
The Bruins released their schedule for the 2017-18 season Thursday, with their campaign beginning at TD Garden on Oct. 5 against the Predators.
Two things stand out in Boston’s schedule. Eleven of their final 15 games are on the road, and they don’t play the Canadiens until mid-January.
Then, when the B’s and Habs do finally meet, they play three times in an eight-day span. The rivals face each other Jan. 13 in Montreal, Jan. 17 in Boston and Jan. 20 in Montreal. The Bruins’ final regular-season meeting with the Habs is March 3.
To see the full schedule, click here.