Sep 19: Menell has indeed signed a one-year contract with Dynamo Moscow, becoming only the third American-born player to join them in team history.
Sep 14: It wasn’t so long ago that Brennan Menell was considered an up-and-coming defenseman who would soon push for NHL playing time. Undrafted, he had become a star for the Iowa Wild of the AHL, and even got into five games with the Minnesota Wild. Now, it appears he’s headed back to the KHL, as Sport-Express is reporting that he has signed a contract with Dynamo Moscow.
Menell, 25, already spent one season overseas, playing the 2020-21 campaign with Dinamo Minsk. He was outstanding for the KHL club that year, registering the most assists by any KHL defenseman and finishing with 38 points in 47 games. He was even better in the playoffs where he had seven points in five games, but that success didn’t follow him back to North America.
In easily his worst professional season to date, Menell had just 11 points in 38 games split between the Toronto Marlies and Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Perhaps that is why he’s headed back overseas, along with the fact that he became a Group VI unrestricted free agent this summer. There just hasn’t been much NHL opportunity for the smooth-skating Menell, who is a classic example of offensive defensemen not being able to crack into the higher level as a depth option. Still just 25, it likely isn’t the last we’ve heard of him.