Alexander Khovanov makes his Wildcats debut tonight!
The Wildcats are excited to announce that our second overall CHL Import Draft pick, Alexander Khovanov will officially make his Wildcats debut tonight! The team will play their first game following the Christmas break in Bathurst against the Titan at 7:00 p.m.
After Alex was selected by the organization back in June he was unable to report at the start of the season due to illness. Since his arrival in Moncton just over two weeks ago he has been working hard both on and off the ice to make sure he is as prepared as possible for his return to game action.
“He was cleared to practice shortly after his arrival and has had several practices with the team, including a controlled scrimmage yesterday” said Head Coach, Darren Rumble. “Since Alex did not return home over the Christmas break he has been on the ice almost everyday with Miromanov and the coaching staff working on drills and making sure he feels confident for his return.”
Alex has not played a game since March, so it will take some time to get back into full game shape, but the team has put together a plan, and are looking forward to seeing him on the ice. “We want to ensure Alex gets real game action as part of his return to play plan, and that all starts tonight” said Director of Hockey Operations, Roger Shannon.
“As we ease him back into game action we will be very carefully monitoring his minutes” said Rumble. “Although he is very eager to play, we also need to make sure he doesn’t over extend himself. His long-term health is the most important thing to us, and we want to make sure we get him back in game shape the correct way.”
The 17-year-old 5’11”, 180 lb Russian centerman will likely have a few different line mates for the first few games as he eases back into things, and the coaches get a look at what combinations seem to be working the best. He is a proven player and will be a large part of the team looking towards the future. After Captaining the Russian youth Olympic team in 2016 and again represented his country at the World U-17’s we are looking forward to having Alex officially on the ice in a Wildcats jersey.
The team plays on the road both tonight and tomorrow, but fans can expect to see Khovanov on Coliseum ice this coming Sunday as we take on the Saint John Sea Dogs at 2:00 p.m. for our New Year’s Eve game! Get your tickets now at tickets.moncton.ca or by calling 857-4100. Doors will open to the family fun zone at noon on Sunday in the Agrena, your game ticket will get you access to this pre-game event with bouncy castles, face painters, Wild Willie and more, see you at the game!