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This Prince George Cougar is turning professional by transferring to Russia

Vladislav Mikhalchuk signs KHL deal after two years in B.C.’s northern capital

An impressive sophomore season for Vladislav Mikhalchuk in the Western Hockey League (WHL) has caught the eye of a Russian hockey team not too far from his home country.

The Prince George Cougars top-scorer in the 2018-19 season has signed a one-year, two-way contract with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, as per the Kontinential Hockey League (KHL).

According to the league website, the 19-year-old Belarusian import officially made his transfer from the WHL yesterday (June 10).

In his two years with Prince George, he compiled 83 points, including a team-high 50 last season with 25 goals, 10 on the power-play, and 25 assists by starting in all 68 games.

Mikhalchuk delivered the 2018 (Un)Teddy Bear Toss goal on Dec. 1 and one of the most memorable goals for Prince George this season, a backhand move to score the overtime-winning goal against the Kamloops Blazers on Mar. 15.

He was named Prince George’s Rookie of the Year in 2018 and Offensive Player of the Year for 2019.

Mikhalchuk was the 54th pick of the Cougars in the 2017 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft.

He also represented his nation of Belarus on a number of occasions, including the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York.

Nizhny Novgorod is roughly a two-hour flight east of Mikhalchuk’s hometown of Minsk and a six-hour drive east of Moscow.

Torpedo finished seventh in the KHL’s Eastern Conference last season with a record of 27-25-7-3 before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.