"Alex Baskakov came to the United States three years ago to learn English, be exposed to a new culture, make friends, build relationships -- and to facilitate his burgeoning hockey career.
Each objective is being realized.
Baskakov, a recent Canon-McMillan High School graduate, will play Junior hockey next season. This 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman signed a tender to skate for the Springfield (Ill.) Blues of the North American Hockey League.
The NAHL is a 28-team league classified as Junior A Tier II league by USA Hockey.
"Simply, he's a stud," said Dave Kosick, coach of the Pittsburgh Viper Stars 18U AAA midget team, for which Baskakov has played over the past two seasons."