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SOURCE: Devils Prospect Arseni Gritsyuk Unlikely to Leave KHL Early

Despite speculation that the Devils could lure their top KHL prospect to North America early, a source confirmed to New Jersey Hockey Now that Arseni Gritsyuk will remain with SKA St. Petersburg next season.

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This is the time of year when plenty of speculation is swirling about. The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are halfway through and as teams become eliminated and those who didn’t make the postseason sit and wait, some preparation for next season is already underway. A handful of teams, including the New Jersey Devils, have already taken care of some housecleaning items. However, as much as the NHL would like the spotlight to remain on the playoffs, some general managers won’t sit on their hands and wait to make a major move if the timing is right. Recently, there’s been speculation regarding KHL players leaving their clubs early for the NHL. However, that’s an unlikely scenario for Devils prospect Arseni Gritsyuk, a source confirmed to New Jersey Hockey Now.

Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com confirmed that the Devils’ top KHL forward will make his way to North America for the 2025-26 season.

Recently, the Philadelphia Flyers reportedly might be opening the door for NHL teams to reclaim their overseas prospects earlier than anticipated.

Recent reports suggest that the Flyers’ prized prospect, Matvei Michkov, could buy out his KHL contract with SKA St. Petersburg, who sent Michkov to HK Sochi on loan this season where he scored 19 goals and 41 points in 47 games. Oddly enough, St. Petersburg had no appetite to play the talented 19-year-old forward.

Yet, SKA’s head coach, Roman Rotenberg, all but confirmed that St. Petersburg and the Flyers are going through the process to move Michkov to the North American side of the pond.

“I do not want to reveal trade secrets. But you understand that we have invested a lot in Matvei. And if he does not become the leader of Philadelphia, then we will definitely wait for him back to the KHL,” Rotenberg said. “And I emphasize that the whole story was influenced by the family situation of Michkov. We must support him in this. This is not hockey, but a family issue. And we all must support Matvei.”

It’s not exactly the same situation for Gritsyuk who is also a member of St. Petersburg.

The Devils KHL prospect is one of SKA’s top forwards who scored 19 goals and 38 points in 50 games this season.

Well, despite the speculation that Grityuk could follow in Michkov’s footsteps, Shumi Babev, the Russian forward’s agent, confirmed to New Jersey Hockey now that he will play for St. Petersburg next season.

“Gritsyuk will stay in SKA for sure,” Babev explained to New Jersey Hockey Now. “If nothing’s gonna be changed, [he] will join [New Jersey] in the next season.”

Babev was firm that Gritsyuk will remain with SKA next year while reaffirming that he’ll cross the pond after the 2024-25 KHL season (barring a sudden change in plans). There was a time when Michkov definitely wasn’t leaving early as well. However, this seems a bit more concrete.

Gritsyuk is headed into the final year of his contract with St. Petersburg. He’s owed ₽60 million ($662,400), which is considered one of the higher KHL contracts in the league.

There is a timeline for Devils fans to see Gritsyuk with Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Co. However, the plan remains set for the 2025-26 season.

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