Scouts and fans alike will get a closer look at one of 2018’s top NHL Entry Draft prospects next year, as 17-year-old Russian phenom Alexander Khovanov appears poised to join the CHL for the 2017-18 season. According to a report from a reputable Russian new source, the “Sport Business Gazeta” (Twitter link in Russian), Khovanov is committed to coming overseas to hone his skills against fellow top prospects ahead of the 2018 draft.

Khovanov, a small, but super-skilled center, has been dominating the youth leagues of the KHL for the past few years, playing for the U-16 and U-18 development squads for Ak Bars Kazan. This past season, he took the next step up to the MHL, Russia’s top developmental league, where he competed against players up to 21 years of age. Khovanov, with just limited play time, still managed to score eight goals and add 14 assists in 29 regular season games, plus another two points in the playoffs. Such output is the mark of a talented young player, as the only point-per-game 17-year-old in KHL history was Nikita Kucherov. Khovanov is smart, shifty pivot who is also a superior talent at the face-off dot. While much more seasoning is needed, he projects to be an elite player in the future.