Leafs prospect starts his preseason on a torrid pace in Europe

Published August 13, 2023 at 10:43

While most of the talk among Leaf prospects surrounding the likes of Matthew Knies, Topi Niemela, Nick Robertson, Roni Hirvonen, Fraser Minten and others, Nikita Grebyonkin has been turning a lot of heads overseas. Grebyonkin, a 5th round pick by the Leafs in 2022, won the KHL's Rookie of the Year in 2022-23 and, by all appearances, he looks to be planning to take yet another huge step forward in 2023-24.

Last season, Grebyonkin played on loan for Khabarovsk Amur, notching 9 goals and 17 assists for a total of 26 points in 45 games. He finished atop the league among all U20 players.

This season, Grebyonkin will be playing with Magnitogorsk Metallurg and he has already been relied upon heavily by the team in the preseason, anchoring the top line. Not only has he not struggled at all - he's actually excelling as a top liner. Grebyonkin has amassed 5 points in 4 games with Metallurg during the preseason thus far, after posting a 3-point game against Dynamo on Sunday.

As is the case with many prospects currently playing in the KHL, you never really know how long it will take for them to come over to North America, and when they do, there's no guarantee that they'll transition as well as some of the other players who have come over and flourished here as well, such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Ovechkin, Artemi Panarin and, more recently, Kirill Kaprizov.

Grebyonkin will no doubt be looking to defy the odds and become an NHL star despite being a 5th round draft pick, being selected by the Leafs as an over-ager just one year ago.
August 13   |   271 answers
Leafs prospect starts his preseason on a torrid pace in Europe

Over or under 40 points for Nikita Grebyonkin in the KHL this season?

Under9936.5 %
Over17263.5 %
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