With the Florida Panthers struggling lately, losing three of their last four by wide margins, it’s time to try something new. The team has recalled Grigori Denisenko from the minor leagues, while moving Radko Gudas to injured reserve. Given Gudas has been out for ten days already, he can be activated whenever healthy enough to return.
Denisenko, 22, was the 15th overall pick in 2018 but still hasn’t lived up to the hype he had throughout his draft year. While there have been flashes – including two excellent performances at the World Juniors – his play hasn’t been consistent at the minor league level. This season, he has just three goals and 11 points in 24 games with the Charlotte Checkers.
Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, however. Eight of those 11 points have come in his last ten games, and he has racked up at least two shots on goal in each of his last nine. The consistency that Florida has been waiting for is starting to bubble up to the surface, and Denisenko’s recent strong play has now earned him a call-up.
Interestingly, George Richards of Florida Hockey Now reports that Carter Verhaeghe isn’t warming up with the team ahead of their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which could explain the timing Denisenko recall. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for a young player that has thus far struggled to make an impact in the organization.