July 27: Khovanov’s contract has been terminated and he will play with the Ak Bars program this season, starting in the VHL.
July 24: The Minnesota Wild announced that they have placed forward Alexander Khovanov on unconditional waivers today. A third-round pick of the Wild in 2018, Khovanov made his North American professional debut in 2021-22, but struggled to make a real impact, putting up six points in eight games with the Iowa Heartlanders of the ECHL and just five points in 22 games with the AHL’s Iowa Wild. Khovanov had one year remaining on the ELC he signed with Minnesota in the spring of 2019.
Once an intriguing prospect for the Wild as a dynamic offensive weapon, Khovanov hasn’t lived up to the promise he had shown in the junior levels in both Canada and Russia. A standout in the Ak Bars development program, Khovanov came to North America prior to the 2017-18 season, spending three seasons with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. Khovanov’s best performance came in 2019-20, where he scored 32 goals to go with 67 assists in just 51 games for Moncton. With questions about who would play and when due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Khovanov headed home for the 2020-21 season, once again playing in the Ak Bars organization. The forward spent the majority of that season in the VHL where he again impressed with 24 points in 30 games and was even able to finally make his KHL debut, getting into seven games.
After the 2020-21 season, Khovanov announced he was heading back to North America, splitting this season between the AHL and ECHL in the Wild organization. It’s unclear what the plan is for Khovanov now that he has been placed on unconditional waivers, though a return to the KHL could be likely given his production in the VHL and Ak Bars’ willingness to have him play games at the KHL level just two years ago.