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The Boston Bruins announced on Sunday they had agreed to terms on a contract with Russian defenseman Yuri Alexandrov, the club’s 2nd round pick, 37th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The lanky Russian blueliner, 21, has been plying his trade for the Cherepovets Severstal in the Kontinental Hockey League, considered by many to be the 2nd best professional league in the world behind the NHL, for the past 5 seasons. In 2009-2010, Alexandrov set career highs in virtually every statistical category, including games played, goals, assists, points, and penalty minutes.
The two-year, entry level deal is a two-way contact, meaning Alexandrov will be eligible to start his career with the Providence Bruins in the AHL, his likely starting destination in North America. With a glut of veteran defensemen with the big club combined with the possible impending contracts due to free agents Mark Stuart, Dennis Seidenberg, and Johnny Boychuk, it’s unlikely Alexandrov will find a spot with the Bruins next season, at least to start.
Still, Alexandrov’s skill set is something of a rarity in the organization, as he’s a big, mobile, two-way defenseman with a lot of upside. If he can force the issue in training camp and prove he belongs, the Bruins will be hard-pressed to keep the young Russian off the TD Garden ice for long.