Former Los Angeles Jr. King Pavel “Pasha” Bocharov has signed a Western Hockey League (WHL) Standard Player Agreement with the Saskatoon Blades.
The 2004-born defenseman who was selected by the Blades in last year’s WHL Bantam Draft is expected to compete for a full-time roster position as a rookie come training camp ahead of the 2020-21 regular season.
“This is a very exciting signing for us and something we’ve been working towards for the last nine months since we drafted him,” said Blades general manager Colin Priestner. “We had Pasha ranked as a top-level talent in last year’s draft. Given he was American, we knew it was going to be a bigger challenge to recruit him, but he became very invested in our coaches, our program and what we are building towards and we’re very pleased he chose us to continue his journey in hockey.”
In his final season with the Jr. Kings in 2018-19, Bocharov connected for 24 goals for 54 points in 53 games for the club's Shawn Pitcher-coached 14U AAA team.
“He’s a big, powerful defender who takes care of his own end but also has a strong ability to get the puck up the ice and has a very heavy shot,” Priestner added. “He’s a mature young man and someone we’re going to be able to build around in the future.”
Yesterday in the WHL’s first annual U.S. Prospects Draft, the Blades selected 2005-born forward Brenden Fields, a member of the Jr. Kings’ state and Pacific District champion 14U AAA team this past season, and former Jr. Kings defenseman Zeev Buium.
2003-born defenseman Spencer Shugrue, a former Jr. King picked by the Blades in the 2018 Bantam Draft, signed with the club in December of 2018 and dressed in four games with the team this past season.
“The new pipeline to Southern California is becoming quite exciting for us with Pavel joining Spencer as signed players, and we feel like this will continue in the future with our recent draft picks,” said Priestner. “It’s given us a whole new region in which to recruit and develop players.”