Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Bruins’ Chmelevski goes pro with Ufa of KHL

Photo credit to Wanda Harron Photography

Estevan Bruins forward Ilia Chmelevski has signed with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League, the club announced Monday.

Chmelevski, 19, posted 96 points in 96 regular and post-season contests with the Bruins and represented the league at the 2024 SJHL/MJHL Showcase in Winnipeg.

“I would like to thank the entire Estevan Bruins organization, coaches, teammates, my billets, and fans for a very fun 2 years!” he said.

“Thank you for helping me become a better player and person”.

A native of Michigan, he spent time over his three-year junior career with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League, the Welland Jr. Canadians of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League, and the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

His older brother Alexander has spent the last two seasons with Ufa in the KHL. He is an alumnus of the various USA Hockey teams, including when he posted a point-per-game at the 2019 IIHF Under-20 World Hockey Championship. ‘Sasha’ has 24 games of National Hockey League experience with the San Jose Sharks.

Ilia mentioned that he is excited to be closer to, and potentially play with his brother.

The younger Chmelevski is likely to begin his professional career 215 kilometres north of Ufa in Neftekamsk, where Ufa’s Vserossiyskaya Hokkeinaya Liga (VHL) affiliates play. The VHL is the KHL’s equivalent of the American Hockey League in North America.