ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Bruins stayed in the Ontario Hockey League with their second pick of the 2011 draft Saturday, but this player hails from just a bit farther away.
Boston used the 40th overall pick to take talented forward Alexander Khokhlachev, a native of Moscow who came over to North America to play for Windsor in the OHL.
In his first year in the OHL, Khokhlachev put up impressive numbers, with 34 goals and 42 assists for 76 points in 67 games. Twelve of those goals came on the power play, but he was effective at even strength as well; he was a plus-9 for the year.
He elevated his play further in the postseason, leading all OHL rookies with 9-11-20 totals in 18 playoff contests. The 5-foot-10, 188-pounder was ranked 29th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
"He'll take a hit to make a play and he's not at all afraid," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards said in his profile on NHL.com. "I've seen him get hit hard a few times and he just bounces right back into the play. His energy level is always there, and he's always working hard. Down the stretch for Windsor, he's played well. He's a skilled forward."
While NHL teams have been wary of drafting Russians in recent years because of signability issues with the threat of playing at home in the KHL, Khokhlachev's willingness to come to North America to play junior hockey indicates that should not be a major concern when he is ready to turn pro.
That won't be for a few years, though, as Khokhlachev is one of the youngest players available in the draft. He doesn't turn 18 until Sept. 9, making the cutoff to be eligible for this year's draft by just six days.
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