Training camps can be crossroads, especially for veteran players mulling retirement and prospects who are getting antsy about “making the leap.”
Alex Khokhlachev is in that latter group with the Boston Bruins. You get the impression that he’s going to make noise if it doesn’t work out soon – maybe even next season – based on these quotes from CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.
“I’ve been waiting two years so [the Bruins] should make a decision: give me a chance [in the NHL] or…I don’t know. We’ll see what they do. I’m not a young guy anymore. I’m 22 already,” Khokhlachev said. “If they don’t give me a chance to play while I’m here…I won’t play in Providence all of my life. I’m still waiting for [my chance].”
(That groan you heard came from readers old enough to cringe at the line “I’m 22 already.”)
It’s been a strange ride for the prospect sometimes conveniently called “Koko.” Back around the 2013 trade deadline, it seemed like Khokhlachev was going to be involved in the Bruins’ eventually aborted Jarome Iginla swap.
The 22-year-old appeared in three games with the Bruins last season (and one in 2013-14), but he didn’t really believe that he received a fair look in that regard.
Khokhlachev also seemed a bit envious of other young players who’ve received the call, noting that they “stepped up.”
Haggerty wonders if he might already be angling for a change:
From the sounds of it, Khokhachev is pining for a fresh start in a different organization and a chance where there are NHL spots readily available. But he won’t have any leverage at all as a player until he finishes out his entry-level contract with Boston, short of picking up and heading back to the KHL and Mother Russia.