The Florida Panthers are expected to sign prospect Grigori Denisenko on May 1 after his KHL contract expires, according to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express. The young forward apparently “refused” to sign an extension with his KHL club and will instead be coming to North America. That’s not a huge surprise after the Panthers used the 15th-overall pick on Denisenko in 2018, but it should create some excitement in Florida as they wait for hockey to return.
The 19-year old Denisenko has twice suited up for the Russians at the World Juniors, earning bronze and silver medals while leading the 2019 tournament in scoring and captaining the 2020 squad. In 38 games with Lokomotiv this season he recorded just 12 points, but even playing regularly at his age is an accomplishment. Even though they already have a formidable forward group in the NHL, there is a lot to look forward to in the Florida prospect system with names like Denisenko, Serron Noel, Owen Tippett, Henrik Borgstrom, and others upfront.
- The Colorado Eagles have added a prospect of their own, signing Charlie Gerard to a two-way AHL contract for 2020-21. The 24-year old forward recently finished his senior season at Minnesota State-Mankato, where he recorded 30 points in 37 games. The undersized Gerard will be joining an organization that was one of the strongest in the AHL before the season shut down and has routinely rewarded their minor league players with solid salary guarantees.
- Usually when NHL commissioner speaks about the Olympics he is referring to the winter variety, but today he spoke to NBC Sports Network’s Mike Tirico about how the postponement of the upcoming Tokyo summer games could potentially be beneficial to hockey. Frank Seravalli of TSN examined the league boss’s comments, and explained how without the Olympics taking up several weeks in the summer there is now a “broader window” for the NHL to resume play. There are no firm plans at this point as Bettman and the league plays the wait-and-see game, but he did confirm that they could play “well into the summer” if need be.