Elliotte Friedman has reported the Vegas Golden Knights claimed Grigori Denisenko from the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Denisenko was the No. 15 pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers. The 23-year-old appeared in 18 games for the Florida Panthers last season logging three assists.
Elite Prospects describes Denisenko as “displays high skill level and skating agility with the puck on his stick…a playmaker with the shooting ability to finish chances himself.”
One of the negatives of winning the Stanley Cup is having the final waiver prior priority until November. What that means is Denisenko was passed up by the entire NHL besides the Golden Knights. It is almost certain Denisenko will get waived by the Golden Knights and will end up with the Henderson Silver Knights.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon and his scouts must see the upside in Denisenko. Denisenko had 36 points (12 goals) in 56 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL last season.
Denisenko’s final appearance of the 2022-23 campaign was game five of the Stanley Cup Final against the Golden Knights.
“This is a big season upcoming for me,” Denisenko told Florida Hockey Now prior to the start of training camp. “I worked hard this summer to prepare for it. The two-year (contract) is a good deal and means a lot to me. I hope it leads to a good start in the NHL.” Denisenko told Florida Hockey Now prior to the start of training camp.
For the moment, the Golden Knights are over their roster limit by one spot and are just barely salary-cap compliant ($76,000 available). Zach Whitecloud is expected to start the season on IR or possibly LTIR. The Golden Knights can elect to keep Denisenko on their NHL roster assuming Whitecloud is out for an extended period of time.
The other option is waiving Denisenko, Whitecloud to LTIR, and offering Max Comtois an NHL contract.