The #FlaPanthers agree to terms with forward Grigori Denisenko.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 5, 2020
Panthers Sign Grigori Denisenko
Originally drafted in the first round (15th overall) by the Panthers in the 2018 NHL Draft, Denisenko has been playing in the KHL with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. In 38 games this season, Denisenko had 12 points (six goals and six assists). He has worked his way up the professional ranks in Russia. Denisenko played as a youth within the junior ranks of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He made his professional debut in the KHL with the big club during the 2017-18 season. During the 2018-19 season, Denisenko played in 25 games with Lokomotiv before returning to the junior ranks recording six points (four goals and two assists). In six playoff games, he had three assists).
What stands out most from that season is that Denisenko was the top-scorer of the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships helping Russia earn a bronze medal. In seven games with Russia Denisenko recorded nine points (four goals and five assists). During the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship, where Russia fell to Canada in the gold medal game, Denisenko matched is point total from the previous year recording three goals and six assists.
What the Panthers Can Expect
Ben Kerr described Denisenko ahead of the 2018 NHL Draft by saying, ” he is an excellent skater. He has a smooth stride that leads to quick acceleration and very good top-end speed. His quick feet lead to very good agility and edge work. He is extremely dangerous off the rush. If defenders give him too much space, it opens up passing and shooting lanes and Denisenko is skilled enough to take advantage of the situation. He has outstanding vision and passing skills. Not to mention his snapshot and wrist shot are very accurate as he features a quick release. Like most young players his defensive game is a work in progress.” The full scouting report is available here.
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