On Friday, Johnny Boychuk became the 11th locked-out Bruin to sign overseas, joining Red Bull Salzburg of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga.
News of the signing was first reported by CSN New England’s Joe Haggery.
Boychuk, 28, is the latest NHLer to try his hand playing in Austria. Chicago’s Bryan Bickell, Carolina’s Andreas Nodl, New York Islander’s Michael Grabner, Buffalo’s Tyler Myers and Edmonton’s Sam Gagner are currently there, while the likes of New Jersey’s David Clarkson, Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom and Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek have come and gone.
(Of note, Boychuk will replace Enstrom as Salzburg’s NHL “import” defenseman.)
The move to Austria comes nearly nine months after Boychuk agreed to a three-year, $10.1 million extension with the Bruins. Boston was keen to lock him up after a solid 2011-12 campaign which saw him play in a career-high 77 games and average a career-high 20:37 minutes per.
As mentioned above, Boychuk is one of a growing number of Bruins playing abroad. Andrew Ference (Czech Extraliga), Tyler Seguin (Switzerland), Rich Peverly (Finland), Tuukka Rask (Czech Extraliga), Dennis Seidenberg (Germany), Zdeno Chara (KHL), Patrice Bergeron (Switzerland), David Krejci (Czech Extraliga) and Chris Kelly (Switzerland) are the others.