In the midst of turbulent times at Hockey USA, I thought I could feature another IIHF team - Team Canada - and revisit a player I last wrote about in 2012, Zach Boychuk.
Boychuk has since become the Charlotte Checkers' all-time leading scorer, which doesn't mean the Carolina Hurricanes have given him a fair shot at playing with NHLers of his skill level to demonstrate what he can contribute. As a matter of fact, after eight seasons in the Canes organization (albeit with a brief, two-month interruption in 2012-13 for 7 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and 5 games with the Nashville Predators), he attended training camp with the Arizona Coyotes last September on a tryout basis, only to not be offered a contract after a decent camp.
And so he set his sails for the KHL, signing a one-year deal with Novosibirsk Hockey Club Sibir Oblast, a.k.a. "The Siberians". In a low-scoring league, he has 15 points (7 goals and 8 assists) in 35 games so far, seventh on the team but first among full-time centers. It should be noted that he has played at last 14 fewer games than anyone else above him, which makes his point-per-game average among the top-5 on the team.
Internationally, he has gold medals from the 2008 and 2009 World Juniors as well as the 2006 Ivan Hlinka U-18 tournament. This card shows him wearing the red Canadian uniform at the 2007 U-18 Worlds, where he posted 7 points (4 goals and 3 assists) in a fourth-place finish, trailing only Steven Stamkos (10 points) and Jamie Arniel (8 points) on his team: