San Jose Sharks prospect Ivan Chekhovich is off to a great start in Russia this season.
Chekhovich, who was selected by the Sharks in the seventh round of the 2017 NHL Draft, is currently playing with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL. So far, the forward has managed five goals and 13 points in 15 games, which is great production for the 21-year-old. His strong performance earned him KHL Rookie of the Month honours for November.
This is a great sign for Chekhovich. After an excellent year in the QMJHL in 2018-19, where he scored 43 goals and 105 points in 66 games with Baie-Comeau, he didn’t have much of a standout year in his first season of professional hockey. Last season, he managed just four goals and 12 points in 42 AHL games with the San Jose Barracuda.
It’s also worth noting that Chekhovich’s team is in the middle of the pack right now when it comes to the league standings, so it’s not as simple as him just playing on a good team. Chekhovich actually ranks second on the team in points per game and is one of three forwards who are statistically accounting for a large portion of the team’s offense. He’s one of three players over the 0.80 points per game mark, while all other forwards on the team fall below 0.55 points per game.
It’s a fairly small sample size but so far, so good for Chekhovich. After a fairly underwhelming AHL season, it’s good to see him finding his way in a competitive professional league. Chekhovich is on a full-year loan in the KHL this year, so it’s going to be a while before he’s back playing within the Sharks organization, however, this certainly provides some excitement as to what he’ll be able to accomplish when he does return to North America.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Does Ivan Chekhovich's strong start in the KHL surprise you?