Report: Maple Leafs Set To Add KHL Champion Forward Prospect

 The Toronto Maple Leafs' forward depth has been a little thin in these playoffs so far, with William Nylander and Bobby McMann both missing all three games to this point. But help might be on the way in the form of forward prospect Nikita Grebyonkin who is just coming off a KHL championship in Russia.

According to Alexey Shevchenko of Sport ExpressGrebyonkin could be on the verge of signing his entry-level contract and then possibly even slotting into the Leafs lineup—if they advance past this first-round series with the Boston Bruins. The 21-year-old had a breakout season in Russia, recording 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points in 67 games for Mettalurg Magnitogorsk, and helping to lead them to the KHL title, winning the Gagarin Cup.

If the Leafs were to deploy him in the current Stanley Cup playoffs, that would use up the first year of his three-year ELC. But with the amped-up play of the postseason and the injury bug playing a role right now for Toronto, they could be willing to make that sacrifice.

Grebyonkin was an overaged fifth-round pick by the Buds in the 2022 NHL Draft. The rugged winger would make an immediate impact if he’s added to the lineup, as noted by former NHLer Luke Johnson, who has been the Russian’s teammate with Mettalurg this season:

“Every shift he’s doing something that catches your eye,” Johnson told The Athletic. “He’s always willing to challenge guys one-on-one. And he’s a competitor as well. He plays the game physical, he gets in guys’ faces and that’s a pretty good combination.”

 Sounds like a ‘combination’ that any team could use in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports