Former Bruins forward Brandon Bochenski was long known as a promising young forward who never quite worked out for the Black and Gold.
But the 38-year-old former University of North Dakota star has a different claim to fame now that he’s been elected the new mayor of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
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Bochenski, now a real estate developer in addition to a neophyte politician, ousted 20-year incumbent Mike Brown in Tuesday’s election in North Dakota while wrangling roughly half the votes in a three-way election between Bochenski, Brown and Robin David.
Bochenski ran on a conservative platform of cutting taxes and creating jobs that won him the recommendation of many within the Republican Party in North Dakota.
“We’re going to get this city going again,” said Bochenski. “We’re going to get business going again, get the economy going again. And we’ll build that tax roll through that so the burden’s shared by everybody.”
Bochenski will long be remembered as a flash in the pan for the Bruins after Boston traded away Kris Versteeg to the Chicago Blackhawks for him during a rough 2006-07 transition year. Bochenski put up 11 goals and 22 points in 31 games during the '06-'07 season after being traded to Boston in one of Peter Chiarelli’s first major moves remaking the B’s roster after he was named general manager.
The next season, Bochenski tried to put on size and muscle that slowed him down considerably and he went the first 20 games without a goal in 2007-08 before he was traded away to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Shane Hnidy. Versteeg went on to score 149 goals and 358 points in 643 games during his NHL career while winning a pair of Cups during his multiple stints with the Blackhawks.
Needless to say, that was a trade that the Bruins ended up losing pretty badly with the power of 20/20 hindsight.
Bochenski ended up playing 156 NHL games for the Senators, Blackhawks, Bruins, Ducks, Predators and Lightning before ending his pro hockey career with a 10-year stint playing in Russia for Astana Barys of the KHL.