USA-born forward Brandon Bochenski will look to play for the Kazakhstan national hockey team this spring, as the former NHLer is currently in the process of receiving a new citizenship.
During his time in the NHL, Bochenski was rarely used as an offensive threat and more as a bottom six depth forward. In 156 career games, Bochenski was only able to muster 68 points with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks. Since leaving North America in May of 2010, Bochenski has played with the Kazakh KHL team, Barys Astana, where he currently serves as captain. Bochenski has become a very solid KHLer during his time overseas, sitting eighth all time in league scoring with 257 points in 250 games.
Since Bochenski has previously played with the American national team, Bochenski had to spend four consecutive seasons playing in Kazakhstan in order to warrant a transfer. If a player has already competed for one country at an official IIHF tournament, they must require the four year period before being able to transfer to another team that they currently are a citizen for. Just like in the two year case, a player isn’t allowed to compete for their previous country and has to play a minimum of four years in the new country.
Kazkahstan will look to earn promotion back into the top group for 2016 when they take to the ice for the Division IA World Championships in April. The country has failed to stay in the top group for more than a year since their three tournament stint from 2004-2006, bouncing up and down between the top group and Division IA ever since.
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