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Florida Panthers sign forward Grigori Denisenko to entry-level contract

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Cats get 15th overall pick from 2018 to sign on the line which is dotted

Russia v Switzerland: Bronze Medal Game - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

According to CapFriendly, the Florida Panthers have signed one of its top prospects, Grigori Denisenko to an entry-level contract.

The Panthers selected Denisenko, a highly-skilled forward from Russia, with the 15th overall pick at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Denisenko’s shiny new deal kicks in for the 2020-21 season and runs for two years after that.

General Manager Michael Dale Tallon had this to say:

“Grigori is an exciting, dynamic and highly skilled young forward who has been a top player on the international stage and served as captain of Team Russia at the World Juniors. We are thrilled for his bright future with the Panthers for years to come.”

This past season, Denisenko continued to a) find his way in the KHL and b) excel against his peer group, which is probably a better indicator of his true value as a 19-year-old prospect.

In 38 games with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL, Denisenko scored 6 goals and added 6 assists. Relatively modest totals, but better than his 6 points (4G/2A) in 25 games with the club last season. He played in all six of Lokomotiv’s postseason games and notched a goal in the first round loss to Jokerit.

After a winning a bronze medal at the last year’s World Junior Championship, Denisenko captained Russia to silver this year while matching his 2019 output of nine points, which tied him for sixth in scoring in the illustrious tournament.

Denisenko also scored four goals in three games for Yaroslavl’s winning junior team at the Junior Club World Cup this past summer.

Welcome to the fold, Grigori. We look forward to seeing you on the ice next season. Whenever that is...