Nikita Grebenkin may be headed to Toronto
Photo credit: KHL

Shocking development may result in an exciting young player heading to Toronto

Published February 1, 2024 at 10:19

With Auston Matthews and William Nylander signing rich new deals in Toronto that will kick in next season, the Leafs' already tight cap situation may grow even tighter next season. Of course, most of the Leafs' long-term issues will resolve when John Tavares and his $11M comes off the books in the summer of 2025, but until then, the Leafs will be running very thin and will require a lot of entry-level deals and league minimum contracts to get by.

Why is this pertinent? Because it would appear as though one of the Leafs' top prospects appears to be pushing to come over to North America at the conclusion of his KHL season. Per a report from, Nikita Grebenkin, the Leafs' 5th round pick in 2022, has asked for a moonshot of a contract in the KHL in the hopes that his ask will be rejected, opening up the opportunity to come over to North America.

Sport-Express is reporting that Grebenkin's ask is believed to be around 50 million rubles, or $553,500 USD. Obviously, Grebenkin's minimum salary on an NHL contract would be $775,000 USD, though he and his agent, Dan Milstein, may negotiate a better deal should he opt to make the jump next season.

Grebenkin exploded onto the scene in the KHL last season, posting 9 goals and 26 points in 45 games as a rookie with Khabarovsk Amur. This season, with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, he has taken a huge leap forward for such a young player, amassing 16 goals and 34 points in 58 games. This has him inside of the top-45 in points and top-35 in goals, which may not seem overly impressive. However, when you consider that the KHL is a league that doesn't often feature young players in prominent roles, it becomes very clear very quickly that Grebenkin has made the most of his opportunities and may make some noise when he does finally come over to North America.

Anyone who has seen this kid's highlight reel knows that he has good hands, a great shot, some physicality to his game and that he's a strong skater. I'd be eager to see what he's able to do in North America with the Leafs' development staff.
February 1   |   563 answers
Shocking development may result in an exciting young player heading to Toronto

Will Nikita Grebenkin sign his ELC with the Leafs at the end of his KHL season?

Yes38267.9 %
No, he'll play one more season in the KHL12121.5 %
No, he'll sign a multi-year KHL deal6010.7 %
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