[Source Joe Hagerty, CSNNE] “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,” said Khokhlachev. “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].”
“I played two games and then the third game I played two minutes. I don’t think that’s much of a chance,” said Khokhlachev. “I played fourth line. That’s my role and I need to play it, but I don’t believe this is really a chance playing two games.
“I’m surprised, but that’s how it goes. They’ve got other guys, and the young guys they played stepped up. So I’m still waiting and hopefully it’s coming soon.”
Alex Khokhlachev thinks the Bruins have not given him a “chance” at playing in the NHL. The Russian center has played 143 total AHL games and has scored 117 points (47 goals and 70 assists). That is about .82 points per game.
Koko might be the Bruins most skilled prospect. He has good hands, and can finish around the net, but is he bitter that Ryan Spooner got called up when David Krejci got hurt last year? At the time of Spooner’s call up he had 26 points in 34 games with Providence. Not what I would call lighting it up.
Koko did have better numbers than Spooner at the AHL level last year, but Spooner has the speed component to his game that Koko does not. Koko is also not overly big. He is listed at 5’10” and 187 pounds. But he did not bring much to the table when he was called up last year (0 points on 3 games).
Koko’s best chance of making the Bruins would be to switch to the wing, but his skill set does not translate to playing along the boards. I am a believer that you need to put a young player in position to succeed. It makes no sense to have Koko center the 4th line. It would be a waste of his talent to be on the 4th line. He needs to be in a situation where he gets a regular shift and gets time on the power play.
Unless an injury happens to one of the top three centers on the Bruins I do not see a way Koko makes this team. He’s been involved in trade rumors before, and at this point that might be the best option for him and the Bruins because it sounds like he is looking for a fresh start somewhere else.
Good thing Khokhlachev has connections in the KHL (Khokhlachev’s father, Igor is the General Manager of HC Spartak Moscow) because that is where he might be playing down the road. I do not think that it is a smart idea to blast off at the organization you belong to that they have not given you a “chance” to play. Especially since he did not show the Bruins any reason to keep him in “The Show” during his three game stint last season. It cannot make the Bruins management very happy to hear these quotes.
Alex Khokhlachev is a very talented player and he will play in the NHL regularly some day either with the Bruins, or with another club, but he might not want to give up his apartment in Providence just yet. If Khokhlachev just takes care of his own business everything will work out for him. He is too talented to not get a chance in the NHL.