The Bruins had just two prospects in Europe this year, both defensemen. Yuri Alexandrov overcame an early-season injury to excel and mature into a young leader for his KHL team. While in the Czech 1st League, Radim Ostrcil looked to put his disappointing OHL season behind him and adjust to the expectations of his new team.
Yuri Alexandrov, D – Severstal Cherepovets (KHL)
6’1, 179 pounds
2nd round, 37th overall, 2006
The young Russian defenseman with the powerful shot was expected to begin the season as one of the defensive leaders for Cherepovets. Instead, Alexandrov missed the first 23 games of the season after sustaining a shoulder injury during the preseason Memorial Belyayeva Tournament. Surgery on the shoulder kept him out until mid-November, but when he returned he brought with him the leadership preseason pundits had projected and expected. Over the final 26 regular season games he recorded three goals and five assists with a -10 rating. He accumulated 40 penalty minutes in those games, including a couple brawls. Considered one of the best prospects playing in Russia, his playing time proves he has become one of the top defensemen on Cherepovets. His blistering shot and command of the power play compliment his play in the defensive zone. Alexandrov was able to continue his development despite his injury and managed to thrive after a coaching change within the new system of acting head coach Andrew Pyatanov.
Cherempvets finished in 17th place among the 24 KHL teams and did not quality for the playoffs.
Radim Ostrcil, D – HC Olomouc (Czech)
6’0, 198 pounds
6th round, 169th overall, 2007
Ostricil returned to play in his native Czech Republic this year after a frustrating 2007-08 season for the Ottawa 67’s where he saw limited playing time and dismissed responsibility. Playing with HC Olomouc, the left-shooting defenseman took some time adjusting from junior to senior hockey in 1.liga. He finished the 2008-09 season with a -9 rating in his 38 games. In those games, he scored only one goal and had three assists while accumulating 18 minutes in penalties. He played six games for the Czech under-20 team, recording three assists and four penalty minutes, but did not end up playing in the World Junior Championships.
HC Olomouc lost to HC Kometa Brno in the Quarter Finals of the 1.Liga playoffs. Ostrcil finished the playoffs -1 in five games with four minutes in penalties.