Alex Khokhlachev has been called up to the Bruins in time for Friday’s Winter Classic showdown with the Montreal Canadiens, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced on Thursday morning.
Colin Miller will be sent down to Providence to compensate for the surplus on the roster created by Khokhlachev’s promotion.
The promotion of Khokhlachev was said be for ‘roster flexibility’ reasons, according to Sweeney. The primary reason for the 22-year-old forward being called up is likely to make up for the loss of left winger Brad Marchand, who was suspended for three games by the NHL for a low-hit on Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki in Tuesday’s 7-3 win. The team needed an additional left-shot forward, in addition to offensive firepower with the losses of Marchand and center David Krejci (upper body injury) over the last two games. The duo of Krejci (11-22–33) and Marchand (15-11–26) accounted for 26 goals and 59 points, nearly one-fifth of the B’s 308 team points in 2015-16.
Khokhlachev, who is a lefty shot, brings the skill set currently missed from the recent losses. While he doesn’t have a point in eight NHL games, Khokhlachev has 45 goals and 125 points in 148 games for the Providence Bruins going back to the start of the 2013-14 season.
In 22 games for Providence this season, Khokhlachev has nine goals and 25 points. He has 12 points in 11 games since returning from a hand injury that sidelined him for the entire month of November.
Miller’s demotion, done in large part due to lack of minor league options to other players on the varsity roster, comes as no indictment to the play of the rookie defenseman, who has two goals and 12 points in 28 games. His plus-five rating tied for seventh among NHL rookies. He averaged 15:56 of ice-time per game, while getting considerable action on the B’s powerplay.
While his time in Providence should be short-lived, Miller should get a nice opportunity to put up some numbers. In 2014-15, the 23-year-old scored 19 goals and 52 points for the Manchester Monarchs, a big piece of the Los Angeles Kings affiliate that won the 2015 Calder Cup.