BostonBruins.com -- Alexander Khokhlachev
is only 18-years-old, but his hockey sense and his ability to see the ice are assets that set him apart from most prospects.
|Khokhlachev. For the full prospect report, click here. |
According to Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney, those traits even bear a resemblance to those displayed by current Boston Bruins like David Krejci
“He sees the ice very well – he knows where space is on the ice,” Sweeney said. “He’ll go by D, but he’ll pull up on D and hit later guys.
"He has the poise and the ability to hang onto the puck for an extra second, which is what makes him unique.”
The Bruins selected Khokhlachev with their 40th pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, and Sweeney was impressed with his abilities to adapt to the high-speed play as he progressed from this past summer, through training camp and the current OHL season.
“As he got in better shape as camp went along, as the players got better his game went a long with it,” Sweeney said. “He wasn’t intimidated by faster play and he was able to think faster.”
After finishing with 34 goals and 42 assists last season, Khokhlachev leads the Windsor Spitfires with 54 points this year (20-34=54).
The Bruins Assistant GM said that Khokhlachev has more of a pass-first mentality, but can also hit the back of the net when called upon. As such, Sweeney said they would like to see Khokhlachev shoot more to give his game more depth.
“[He] probably [needs to] be a little bit more selfish because guys will lay off of him, as defensemen realize he might not shoot right here so [they] might as well take out the pass,” Sweeney said.
On the other side of the puck, Sweeney also said he hopes to see Khokhlachev develop a game similar to that of Patrice Bergeron
and Tyler Seguin
“He’s conscious of it, and it’s an area we’re going to continue to get him to work on and become a two-way player,” Sweeney said.
Khokhlachev certainly displayed his scoring ability in the World Juniors tournament with four goals and an assist in seven games for Russia, including a goal and an assist in his team’s 6-5 win over Russia in the semi-finals.
“As the tournament went along, the games got bigger and he looked very comfortable which is a good sign,” Sweeney added.
As the season moves forward for Khokhlachev, Sweeney said the Bruins are excited to have him back at training camp next summer.
“We’ve been monitoring him during the course of the season – we don’t interrupt too much while the play’s going on unless there are things that are off the rails,” Sweeney said. “[We’re] charting a course for him for next year – for when his season ends until when he shows up in September [and we] set some realistic goals.
"We’ve had young players come in our hockey club and we want to make sure kids feel good about that.”--- Anthony Gulizia