There’s a good news, bad news situation at play with Boston Bruins prospect Alex Khokhlachev.
The good? After a second solid season with OHL Windsor, he’ll be in Wilmington this week for Bruins Development camp.
The bad? In the fall, he’s off to Russia.
Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reports (via the Windsor Star) that Khokhlachev — taken 40th overall by Boston in 2011 — will play with Spartak Moscow of the KHL next season, where he’ll reunite with his father, Igor, who works in Spartak’s front office.
More, from Haggerty, who astutely points out Khokhlachev’s nickname is “Koko”:
Khokhlachev led the Spitfires with 25 goals and 69 points in 56 games last season, and wouldn’t appear to have much to prove at the junior hockey level after two dominant seasons. Essentially, Koko is “in between” being ready to graduate from Canadian junior hockey, and not being old enough to play in the AHL next season as a 19-year-old prospect.
So Khokhlachev will play the season in Russia, and the Bruins retain his rights while having until June 1 next year to sign the talented young forward prospect before losing those rights.
Some will draw comparisons between this situation and the one Washington faces with Evgeni Kuznetsov, but that’s unfair. Khokhlachev really is in bind given his age, whereas Kuznetsov is eschewing the Caps’ minor league system to stay in the KHL.
Should also be noted that, at 19, Khokhlachev will be gaining invaluable experience playing with men at the pro level. Spartak features a few ex-NHLers, like Branko Radivojevic and Shaone Morrisonn.