The Edmonton Oilers have assigned left wing Alexei Mikhnov to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Russian Superliga.
Mikhnov, the Oilers first choice in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, was scoreless in two games with the Oilers this season. The 65", 218-pound native of Kiev, Ukraine made his NHL debut with Edmonton in a 5-2 win versus the Phoenix Coyotes on October 23rd. He was scoreless and even in 4:21 minutes of ice time in his first NHL game. He also appeared in the Oilers 3-1 win versus Minnesota on December 14th.
Prior to his return to Russia, Mikhnov had played 27 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, scoring 6-12-18 with 22 PIM. Three of his six goals with the Oilers AHL affiliate came on the powerplay and he was even.
Mikhnov returns to Russia, where he has played the last nine seasons. He scored 14-8-22 with 18 penalty minutes in 40 games with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in 2005-06. With his 22 points, the 24-year-old left winger tied for third in goal scoring and was 10th in scoring on the Yaroslavl roster as he helped his team to a third place finish in the standings.
Mikhnov made his international debut for Russia at the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia. He scored 4-2-6 in seven games for the Russian national team to rank second in goals and third in points.
Making his Superliga debut with Yaroslavl in 1997-98, Mikhnov scored 39-38-77 with 70 PIM in 235 games in six seasons in Russias top league. He has also played for Dynamo Moscow, Ufa and Novosibirsk during his tenure in the Superliga.
Mikhnov has made three post-season appearances, scoring 4-4-8 with 10 PIM in 21 playoff games. He led Yaroslavl in playoff scoring in 2006 with 4-4-8 in 11 games.