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Worcester Railers HC Sign Forward Andrei Bakanov for 2023-24 Season

August 25, 2023 - ECHL (ECHL) - Worcester Railers HC News Release


WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester Railers Hockey Club (@RailersHC), proud ECHL (@ECHL) affiliate of the New York Islanders (@NYIslanders), and General Manager and Head Coach Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman announced today that the club has signed forward Andrei Bakanov to an ECHL contract for the 2023-24 season.

Bakanov, 21, split time during the 22-23 season with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League and the Worcester Railers. Bakanov was under contract with the Thunderbirds for the 22-23 season. In 35 games in Worcester last year, the 6'3", 214 lb forward scored 11 points (4-7-11) to go with 6 penalty minutes. Bakanov played in 18 games for Springfield while totaling six penalty minutes. Before turning to pro hockey in North America, Bakanov spent time in Russia playing for each the Kunlun Red Star & HK Sochi of the KHL, along with Kapitan Stupino of the MHL.

"Andrei came to us last season after a few years with very little opportunity to showcase and develop his game being a teenager playing in the KHL," Lavallee-Smotherman said. "As a result, we have only begun to see the potential that Andrei's game has."

"He is an incredibly powerful skater with the strength and size to play a dominant form of hockey. We have high expectations for Andrei and see him as a complete 200ft player who can contribute in all aspects of the game from the defensive end to scoring goals."

Prior to playing professional hockey, the Moscow, Russia native spent one season each with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20, and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League in 2018-19.

"[Worcester's] a great spot to play," Bakanov said. "I enjoyed every bit of it last year. For me, the chance to come back for a second year and build on the chemistry with my teammates and coaching staff is a big reason why I've come back."

The Railers have announced sixteen players officially signed for the 2023-24 season as Bakanov joins John Copeland, Zach White, Quinn Ryan, Christian Evers, Brendan Robbins, Mike Higgins, Blake Christensen, Blade Jenkins, Max Johnson, Nick Fea, Artyom Kulakov, Anthony Callin, Keeghan Howdeshell, Adam Goodsir, and Anthony Repaci as the sixteen signees. More announcements are expected over the coming weeks.

The Worcester Railers HC 2023-24 Opening Weekend at the DCU Center is Sat., Oct. 21st and Sun., Oct. 22nd vs. the Adirondack Thunder & Trois-Rivieres Lions. Season memberships, mini-plans, and group packages for the 2023-24 season are on sale now by calling the Railers front office at 508-365-1750 or by visiting RailersHC.com.


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