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  • Why Don't the Wild Think Danila Yurov Is Ready For the NHL?


    Image courtesy of Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
    Justin Hein

     

    By all accounts, Danila Yurov is That Guy. 

    The Russian sniper is a force all over the ice. His defensive vision and offensive talents are evident every time you pop on his highlights. So why is the front office hesitant to bring him to North America this offseason? In a recent episode of his Worst Seats in the House podcast, Michael Russo reported that: 

    The reason why Yurov is thinking about re-signing [in the KHL] is that he thinks there’s a chance that he’s going to wind up in Iowa. And that is what Bill Guerin has continually said. When Bill Guerin says, “I am fine with him staying in the KHL,” that’s telling you that in his mind, he’s not thinking [Yurov] is on the team.

    On the same podcast, Russo also reported that Danila Yurov has a “contract in waiting.” In other words, Yurov and his KHL club, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, have agreed on the terms of an extension, but Yurov has not yet signed. Presumably, Yurov would prefer another year in the KHL instead of spending most of his time on the Iowa Wild, where his salary would be significantly lower than a one-year KHL deal. 

    The Wild and Yurov seem to have changed their minds throughout the year. Last summer, The Athletic reported that both parties wanted him in North America for training camp in 2024. Now they seem to be on the same page again, except they’ve both delayed the timeline by a year. 

    It’s not as if there are questions about Yurov’s abilities. Whether you prefer scouting reports or analytics, Yurov looks incredible. 

    Scott Wheeler at The Athletic has followed Yurov since before the Wild drafted him, and he loves the Russian forward all over the ice. Wheeler raved about Yurov in his recent prospect pool rankings:

    He plays hard and fast, he pushes tempo, he’s a strong and balanced skater, he’s an excellent give-and-go player who excels at playing in and out of space without the puck, his shot comes off of his blade hard in motion (and has added some versatility/different weapons after it was more of a stand-up wrister earlier in his development), he’s got pro size (6-foot-1 and about 180 pounds) and skill, he’s diligent in all three zones, and he’s almost always in the right position or reading the play to get back into it (on offense or defense).

    Those skills recently earned Yurov the KHL under-21 scoring record. 

    Below is an analytical breakdown of Yurov’s production called NHL equivalency (NHLe). NHLe translates points from lower leagues into an estimate of their NHL points. It rewards prospects for playing in more challenging leagues like the KHL. It also provides more weight to goals and primary assists than secondary assists because playing next to elite scorers can inflate secondary assists. That makes NHLe a powerful predictor of scoring ability. 

    The HockeyProspecting.com model estimates that his KHL scoring is around a 69-point pace based on the difficulty of scoring in the NHL versus the KHL. 

    Yurov vs Gaborik HP card.JPG

    Yurov is as sure a bet as you can make before a prospect makes his NHL debut. Then why is the front office hesitant that he could join the Wild roster next season? 

    It’s not only that there’s no room for a young forward to join the team. Guerin wants to sign Marat Khusnutdinov when his KHL season is over, burning the first year of his ELC. Khusnutdinov is an excellent prospect, but it’s hard to argue that he’s a better player than Yurov. 

    However, Yurov is slated for a deep playoff run with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, whereas Khusnutdinov’s HC Sochi team will end its season on February 25. That means the Wild can sign Khusnutdinov and assimilate him into their forward lines before the NHL playoffs start. Yurov won’t be available this season, so part of this equation is timing. Khusnutdinov is a better fit to bring some youth into the lineup because he’s available sooner. 

    Khusnutdinov’s late-season availability is a bit of a pleasant surprise. He started the season on SKA St. Petersburg, who are also slated for a playoff run. However, St. Petersburg traded him to HC Sochi in October. Therefore, during last year’s training camp reports that Yurov would join the Wild in the summer of 2024, nobody knew that Khusnutdinov would have an opportunity to join Minnesota for the end of the 2023-24 season. 

    Yurov’s renewed involvement with Metallurg is also a positive development. In his 2022-23 season, Yurov averaged only 8:06 minutes per game. This year, it’s up to 15:10. Sometimes, KHL teams will do this to pressure a player into signing an extension. Other times, it’s just a case of a player being in the doghouse with coaches. For whatever reason, that problem seems to have gone away. 

    That makes playing in Magnitogorsk a better spot for Yurov. It also makes his KHL club an excellent place for Yurov’s long-term development. Yurov can stay in Russia, earn a better salary than he would in Iowa, and continue on a healthy development curve. That was uncertain before this season, but now there’s no rush to bring Yurov to Iowa just to get him minutes. He’s seeing plenty of action in the KHL. 

    The final issue to address is the risk that if Yurov stays in the KHL, he may be stuck there long-term. Leaving another Russian sniper in the KHL is enough to give a Wild fan flashbacks to the wait for Kaprizov, who stayed there until age 23. But in Yurov’s case, Minnesota has been in close contact with Yurov on his plans to come over soon. Furthermore, the contract extension Magnitogorsk offered Yurov is only a one-year deal. 

    That starkly contrasts Kaprizov’s situation, where he signed multiple-year KHL extensions and had little to no contact with Wild management until Paul Fenton flew to Russia in 2019. Kaprizov never attended a Wild prospect development camp, but Yurov was in Minnesota last summer. 

    Perhaps the front office is wrong to take things slow with Yurov. He may be NHL-ready, and they’re missing an opportunity to improve next season’s roster. On the other hand, Vladimir Tarasenko and Evgeniy Kuznetsov followed up prolific age-21 KHL seasons with good-not-great rookie seasons in the NHL at age 22. Perhaps that’s just growing pains transitioning to the NHL. Or maybe it's a signal they needed more time to develop. 

    Compare that to Kaprizov, who transitioned to the NHL at age 23. Kaprizov scored at a 40-goal pace in his rookie season, which is better than Tarasenko’s age-23 season. If Kaprizov is the blueprint, you can argue that Yurov should spend another year in the KHL. 

    In Yurov’s case, that extra year could help him find another new level after he changed positions. He moved from wing to center this year, which is incredibly difficult. The early returns were encouraging, but playing center in the NHL is extremely challenging. That alone is a great reason to let Yurov hone his craft for one more year overseas. 

    There don’t seem to be the same risks in this case as Minnesota had with Kaprizov, and there seem to be good reasons for Yurov to wait a year before cracking the NHL roster. He can work on a new position and be fully ready when he joins the Wild in 2025-26. 

    Yurov is still a significant part of this franchise’s future. The situation seems to be under control, even if we have to wait another year to see him in forest green. And it seems like the Wild aren’t concerned that this could drag on for more than one season. 

    It’s exciting to imagine Yurov on the second or third forward line, and it would also be a huge help against next year’s salary cap. Still, the front office seems content to leave Yurov overseas for another season. 

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    I would prefer to see Yurov head to NA next season. Even if he starts in Iowa, playing 1/2 a season on the big club, or even 24 games should make up for the salary difference. 

    I think he's ready for the big club if he has a big offseason strengthening like Rossi did. Remember the video with Kaprizov moving tires? At 180, Yurov needs to be thicker. At 195, he's NHL ready with a 6'1" frame. I'd rather see him at 205, but I'm sure I'll be ridiculed for that!

    As for development. If Metallurg doesn't mess around with his TOI because it's only a 1 year deal, I could be fine with that. I also believe the Russian teams to have more emphasis on body building than the Wild currently do. If these things work out, he could come in similar to Kaprizov. 

    I do not trust the 6'1" 180 measurement, though. That may have been his developmental camp measurement, I'm pretty sure he's already bigger. There have been no signals so far that there is roster room for Yurov, but I'd have to believe that Yurov and Dino could both beat out Johansson at this point. Do we resign the Deweys? Maybe Dewar to a 1 year deal who could be traded if Yurov/Dino are better centers? We just might have a really good problem to have.

    What I most like, though is bringing these guys together on the big team at similar times. The Wall, and maybe Lambos coming in the same year (though by all indications, Lambos still needs work), bringing in Yurov, Dino, Ohgren about the same time (though Ohgren may need a year in the A). And let's not overlook Firstov. Hunt should get a 1 way contract, maybe a 2 year 2-way in year 1 and 1 way in year 2? 

    Bringing this core in at the same time is precisely what I found in building a championship team. A group of guys who are around the same age all coming together to form a large team core. They will be loyal to one another. And they are not far removed from Kaprizov and Ek to help them mature. You then have some of the resigned playing a shutdown role on the 4th line. These young guys will bring in a new and exciting skill identity to this team. 

    And, it will be cost effective in the final year of the heavy lifting penalties. We need this type of thing! Slow walking players is one thing, but when it's time, it's time, and these new guys need to be able to play with one another because their skill sets mesh.

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    I think there's a mixture of things at play.  I doubt any of it has to do with talent nor potential.  Some of it could be on Yurov's or the KHL's side, being a money issue.  It might also be a money issue for the Wild.  I bet they would love having another ELC on their books to counteract things as well.  What I wonder is a potential issue of contract years.  Everyone has that 3 year ELC window.  It could be possible that Guerin doesn't want every single person on the roster coming up all on the same year.  Staggering out contracts bit by bit changes the dynamic in subtle ways, so you don't have to go, "Well, if Faber gets $8m, then I have to sign Rossi to such and such as well, and oh fuck, now I have Khusnutdinov AND Yurov to deal with too?"

    Part of his job is to weigh the benefits and costs of having people around at all times.  I don't think Guerin punted this year away signing the extensions, at least initially.  What it was was a premature risk, rather than blocking anyone and everyone ever from ever being a part of the roster, NMC's be damned.  If Khustnutdinov and Yurov are as valuable as potential says, Guerin will find a way to get them here.  Maybe Yurov is thinking money money money, and then playing time, etc.  We don't really know at the end of the day.

    I do think trying to drip feed prospects per year is Guerin's strategy.  I've said before that opening the floodgates is probably what people WANT to see, but who knows if for every Rossi and Faber, you get an Addison guy, or even two or three of those?  Does that screw up their development?  Are they a lost cause?  Did they come up too soon?  Rossi took an extra year to figure it out and became a 20-goal scorer (and maybe more).  Faber became the Wild's #1 defenseman in no time.  It's also possible he wants to build year in year out, so that younger people fill in once Kap, Ek, etc. get to age where Hartman, Zuccarello, etc are now.

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    20 minutes ago, mnfaninnc said:

    I would prefer to see Yurov head to NA next season. Even if he starts in Iowa, playing 1/2 a season on the big club, or even 24 games should make up for the salary difference. 

    I think he's ready for the big club if he has a big offseason strengthening like Rossi did. Remember the video with Kaprizov moving tires? At 180, Yurov needs to be thicker. At 195, he's NHL ready with a 6'1" frame. I'd rather see him at 205, but I'm sure I'll be ridiculed for that!

    As for development. If Metallurg doesn't mess around with his TOI because it's only a 1 year deal, I could be fine with that. I also believe the Russian teams to have more emphasis on body building than the Wild currently do. If these things work out, he could come in similar to Kaprizov. 

    I do not trust the 6'1" 180 measurement, though. That may have been his developmental camp measurement, I'm pretty sure he's already bigger. There have been no signals so far that there is roster room for Yurov, but I'd have to believe that Yurov and Dino could both beat out Johansson at this point. Do we resign the Deweys? Maybe Dewar to a 1 year deal who could be traded if Yurov/Dino are better centers? We just might have a really good problem to have.

    What I most like, though is bringing these guys together on the big team at similar times. The Wall, and maybe Lambos coming in the same year (though by all indications, Lambos still needs work), bringing in Yurov, Dino, Ohgren about the same time (though Ohgren may need a year in the A). And let's not overlook Firstov. Hunt should get a 1 way contract, maybe a 2 year 2-way in year 1 and 1 way in year 2? 

    Bringing this core in at the same time is precisely what I found in building a championship team. A group of guys who are around the same age all coming together to form a large team core. They will be loyal to one another. And they are not far removed from Kaprizov and Ek to help them mature. You then have some of the resigned playing a shutdown role on the 4th line. These young guys will bring in a new and exciting skill identity to this team. 

    And, it will be cost effective in the final year of the heavy lifting penalties. We need this type of thing! Slow walking players is one thing, but when it's time, it's time, and these new guys need to be able to play with one another because their skill sets mesh.

    It's not a point of coming over. It's Yurov doesn't want to spend one day in Iowa. He negotiated a 1 year deal w his KHL team but hasn't signed it for leverage. He wants a guarantee of no Iowa time. And Billy is telling him he's gotta earn it. Basically it's a who's gonna blink first scenario. 

    You'd think after watching how pathetic Mojo and Freddy have been this year. He'd get Yurov over asap.

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    I would be curious to hear where you seen BG doesn’t want him in the NHL or said he would be in Iowa…..I definitely seen BG comments that he’s ok with him staying in Russia another year, HOWEVER he has to say that!!! That’s just the message he needs to present to the fans and media otherwise your pointing the finger at a player that wants to stay in the KHL or doesn’t feel he’s ready to be here. Ultimately  if he isn’t ready to join your team even after seeing his name next to hall of fame type players then it’s his choice ….as with KK97 you cannot force Yurov to come over nor can you flat guarantee an NHL spot and tell him there won’t be developmental issues. I have not found an article yet the Wild organization has not wanted Yurov and MK here next season but understanding as a GM and organization you can’t shift blame to that player. It needs to stay targeting the Wild because you control nothing till he’s here with a contract in hand! If you found an article I’m unaware of please share but reading between the lines is important especially with Russian players. This is the reason they drop in the draft you don’t get control till they put the pen to paper. 

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    41 minutes ago, Paul Bunyan is Real said:

    You'd think after watching how pathetic Mojo and Freddy have been this year. He'd get Yurov over asap.

    You'd think after watching Gustavsson, Wallstedt, and the defense, that he'd want Yurov to come in after they've improved things and compete right away with an elite player on a contract paying him around $1M per season. Guerin has been planning to really compete in 25-26 since he took over.

    The season prior to Kaprizov joining the Wild, they had a points percentage of .558. The following season with KK97, they jumped up to roughly .670, and it was even better the following season. Adding a bona fide star on an entry level contract is huge, so as long as Yurov is getting strong developmental minutes in the KHL, the Wild will likely be maximizing their future window of contention by letting him play there 1 more year.

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    54 minutes ago, Paul Bunyan is Real said:

    You'd think after watching how pathetic Mojo and Freddy have been this year. He'd get Yurov over asap.

    Unfortunately, and I am not into bashing BG, the MoJo and Freddy contracts have stuck him into a bad situation. He did it so he needs too find a way out. Bringing Dino and Yurov over seems to be the best for the team.

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    The NHL needs to rethink the salary cap, as it rewards teams that are bad at drafting, while punishing teams that are good at drafting. The good teams are forced to get rid of players not because they are bad, but because of the salary cap. The bad teams, can simply wait for such players to become available, and then buy them at a steep discount.

    The salary cap doesn't magically make the small market teams more wealthy or even generate new income, it just gives the big market owners an excuse to pocket money. 

    Therefore, the salary cap should be waived for resigning players you drafted, or players who played their first NHL game or rookie season with your club. The salary cap would instead be for trades and free agency. If you are over the cap, then you can't acquire anyone via trade or free agency, unless it's a league minimum or veterans minimum salary. This way, teams who draft well, would be able to keep more of the players they draft, without having to worry about how much each guy might get at contract time. The teams who are bad at drafting, would be forced to improve, rather than fleecing teams with cap issues.

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    1 hour ago, Citizen Strife said:

      It might also be a money issue for the Wild.  I bet they would love having another ELC on their books to counteract things as well.  What I wonder is a potential issue of contract years.  Everyone has that 3 year ELC window.  It could be possible that Guerin doesn't want every single person on the roster coming up all on the same year. 

    I think this is exactly it. By the time Yurov's due for a new deal, the Foligno and Hartman contracts (which conveniently equal $8M) will be off the books. 

    If this guy is the real deal, and by all accounts he looks to be, then he'll be commanding around $8M in cap-space anyhow and we'll suddenly have it available on the books for him. 

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    1 hour ago, B1GKappa97 said:

    I think this is exactly it. By the time Yurov's due for a new deal, the Foligno and Hartman contracts (which conveniently equal $8M) will be off the books. 

    If this guy is the real deal, and by all accounts he looks to be, then he'll be commanding around $8M in cap-space anyhow and we'll suddenly have it available on the books for him. 

    I thought the same thing as well. But Guerin was on Kfan Sunday w Russo stating he thought both Khusnutdinov and Yurov are ready. And he wants them over here as soon as possible. 

    If Khusnutdinov comes over this year and Yurov the beginning of the season next year. That does space their ELC one year.

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    3 hours ago, mnfaninnc said:

    I would prefer to see Yurov head to NA next season. Even if he starts in Iowa, playing 1/2 a season on the big club, or even 24 games should make up for the salary difference. 

    Selfishly, I agree with you. I just want to watch him play! But, that seems increasingly unlikely. Next year probably won't be the cup run anyway. 

    For now, we'll have to tide ourselves over with Khusnutdinov, who should be fun to watch if he can get NHL games this year! 

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    3 hours ago, Paul Bunyan is Real said:

    It's not a point of coming over. It's Yurov doesn't want to spend one day in Iowa. He negotiated a 1 year deal w his KHL team but hasn't signed it for leverage. He wants a guarantee of no Iowa time. And Billy is telling him he's gotta earn it. Basically it's a who's gonna blink first scenario. 

    This is an interesting take and it honestly makes a lot of sense. I'm only speculating of course -- I don't have sources that can prove that one way or another. 

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    3 hours ago, Eddy said:

    I would be curious to hear where you seen BG doesn’t want him in the NHL or said he would be in Iowa…..I definitely seen BG comments that he’s ok with him staying in Russia another year, HOWEVER he has to say that!!! That’s just the message he needs to present to the fans and media otherwise your pointing the finger at a player that wants to stay in the KHL or doesn’t feel he’s ready to be here.

    I linked it above but Russo reported what he has heard directly from Guerin in this podcast. He's only reporting what he's told but he was pretty adamant this was a report of what Guerin thinks, not just his opinion of what Russo believes Guerin might be thinking.  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/flower-night/id1372613288?i=1000644762096

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    2 hours ago, Up North Guy said:

    Unfortunately, and I am not into bashing BG, the MoJo and Freddy contracts have stuck him into a bad situation. He did it so he needs too find a way out. Bringing Dino and Yurov over seems to be the best for the team.

    Freddy's deal is a bit ugly because it's long, but a 2 year $2 MM deal isn't hamstringing this organization. Small deals for middle 6 forwards are good! 

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    1 hour ago, Quebec1648 said:

    The NHL needs to rethink the salary cap, as it rewards teams that are bad at drafting, while punishing teams that are good at drafting. The good teams are forced to get rid of players not because they are bad, but because of the salary cap. The bad teams, can simply wait for such players to become available, and then buy them at a steep discount.

    The salary cap doesn't magically make the small market teams more wealthy or even generate new income, it just gives the big market owners an excuse to pocket money. 

    Therefore, the salary cap should be waived for resigning players you drafted, or players who played their first NHL game or rookie season with your club. The salary cap would instead be for trades and free agency. If you are over the cap, then you can't acquire anyone via trade or free agency, unless it's a league minimum or veterans minimum salary. This way, teams who draft well, would be able to keep more of the players they draft, without having to worry about how much each guy might get at contract time. The teams who are bad at drafting, would be forced to improve, rather than fleecing teams with cap issues.

    This is an interesting idea -- do you know of any other leagues that operate this way? 

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    3 hours ago, Citizen Strife said:

    I think there's a mixture of things at play.  I doubt any of it has to do with talent nor potential.  Some of it could be on Yurov's or the KHL's side, being a money issue.  It might also be a money issue for the Wild.  I bet they would love having another ELC on their books to counteract things as well.  What I wonder is a potential issue of contract years.  Everyone has that 3 year ELC window.  It could be possible that Guerin doesn't want every single person on the roster coming up all on the same year. 

    I didn't consider this, but it's very conspicuous now that you mention it. 

    On the other hand, this wasn't the plan during development camp, when Yurov and the front office both expected him to come to NA in 2024-25. It's probably part of the new plan, but a year ago this idea of staggering ELC's was not on Guerin's mind. 

    The Zucc/Foligno/Harment extensions may or may not be part of reason for the new plan too!

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    So ELC’s player age 18-21 3 years. 22-23 2 years. 23-1 year. If he wants to be here and the Wild have a spot LET’S GO!! Math isn’t my forte but looks like there’s nothing to lose. I don’t think many people are saying he’s not going to be ready in the fall.

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    In summer of 2025 Yurov will be 22. Does it mean that per ELC he can sigh 2 years deal and not 3? If yes than all this conversations about spreading out the ELC contract would work in his case. This summer he would sign 3 years deal, next summer 2.

    also just wondering why nobody talks about Firstov? He is playing in KHL, he is 6.1/181. His stats 32 points in 59 games. It is much better than Khusnutdinov

      

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    3 hours ago, Justin Hein said:

    Freddy's deal is a bit ugly because it's long, but a 2 year $2 MM deal isn't hamstringing this organization. Small deals for middle 6 forwards are good! 

    ...Or at least it would be, if he was still a middle 6 forward.  Right now, he's a 4th liner (at best) being paid 2.5x an entry level salary.

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    4 hours ago, Justin Hein said:

    Freddy's deal is a bit ugly because it's long, but a 2 year $2 MM deal isn't hamstringing this organization. Small deals for middle 6 forwards are good! 

    I have a couple problems with it. First, it is the term. 5 yrs is too long. 2nd, i do not think he is a viable middle 6 fwd at this point. Perhaps he is still suffering from his earlier injury. He just is not performing at an acceptable level.

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    5 hours ago, Justin Hein said:

    I linked it above but Russo reported what he has heard directly from Guerin in this podcast. He's only reporting what he's told but he was pretty adamant this was a report of what Guerin thinks, not just his opinion of what Russo believes Guerin might be thinking.  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/flower-night/id1372613288?i=1000644762096

    Thx Justin appreciate it I definitely hear what Russo is saying and I see his and your point. I still think the same tho if Yurov says he’ll only sign if he’s guaranteed a roster spot in the NHL then BG has to take the high road, man up, and put it on his and the organizations shoulders ….you can’t lose a talent like that to something little but you also would put this team in a bad spot if he pulls a  yakupov and you guarantee that roster spot with these cap penalties. You would really hurt the flexibility since it will already be tight. I truly can’t see a reason Yurov should worry about a NHL spot after the season he is having so it seems like there has to be more to this story that Russo hasn’t stumbled on yet or hasn’t been said.

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    8 hours ago, Lovehockey said:

    In summer of 2025 Yurov will be 22. Does it mean that per ELC he can sigh 2 years deal and not 3? If yes than all this conversations about spreading out the ELC contract would work in his case. This summer he would sign 3 years deal, next summer 2.

    Danila Yurov just turned 20 in December of 2023. In the summer of 25, he would be 21 years old, or 21.5, if you prefer. He would not be 22 until December of 2025.

    Any player younger than 25 as of Sept. 15 during the year of their first contract must sign an entry-level contract, according to CapFriendly. Every entry-level contract is a two-way deal and the maximum salary for a player that is drafted in 2023 is set at $950,000 annually. It's set at $925k for players drafted in 2022, like Yurov or Ohgren.

     

    The length of the ELC depends on the age of the player. Here is a breakdown of the contract length:

    • 18-21 years of age: 3 years -- Yurov in Summer of 2024 or 2025
    • 22-23 years of age: 2 years -- Yurov in Summer of 2026
    • 24 years of age: 1 year -- Yurov in Summer of 2027.
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    6 hours ago, Imyourhuckleberry said:

    Danila Yurov just turned 20 in December of 2023. In the summer of 25, he would be 21 years old, or 21.5, if you prefer. He would not be 22 until December of 2025.

    Any player younger than 25 as of Sept. 15 during the year of their first contract must sign an entry-level contract, according to CapFriendly. Every entry-level contract is a two-way deal and the maximum salary for a player that is drafted in 2023 is set at $950,000 annually. It's set at $925k for players drafted in 2022, like Yurov or Ohgren.

     

    The length of the ELC depends on the age of the player. Here is a breakdown of the contract length:

    • 18-21 years of age: 3 years -- Yurov in Summer of 2024 or 2025
    • 22-23 years of age: 2 years -- Yurov in Summer of 2026
    • 24 years of age: 1 year -- Yurov in Summer of 2027.

    Thanks for breaking this down! 

    I think, looking at that, its pretty obvious why they don't care if he spends a year in the KHL next season. 

    If he comes over in the summer of the '25-'26 season, he'll still have a 3-year ELC and won't be due for a new contract until the '28-'29 season. If we keep Kaprizov, his new deal kicks in the '26-'27 season, so we'd then get two years of Yurov on an ELC bargain (assuming he is as advertised) instead of just the one.

    That ought to expand the window a bit for loading the team before we have to give out another big contract to a star top-line player. 

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    On 2/23/2024 at 8:09 PM, Up North Guy said:

    I have a couple problems with it. First, it is the term. 5 yrs is too long. 2nd, i do not think he is a viable middle 6 fwd at this point. Perhaps he is still suffering from his earlier injury. He just is not performing at an acceptable level.

    I don't know if it is too long. However, your point about him not being middle 6 is probably a valid one. I see him as a bottom 6 guy who can fill in on the 2nd line if there's an injury. 

    But, I maintain that $500k of his salary is based upon preparation for the 3rd slot in a shootout. Last season, he was money there. This season he hasn't really been in the lineup when that was needed. If he's making $1.6m for his ability to center or wing in the bottom 6, I think that will age pretty well. 

    Just because we haven't had many shootouts this year, doesn't mean we didn't have to plan for it. He is part of that plan, and had he not been blindsided by Reaves, (and gotten absolutely no push back from anyone), Freddy likely would have been available for the shootouts. It still bothers me that nobody went after a Toronto skilled guy with a heavy, somewhat blind hit. However, Toronto may have that league bias on their side.

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    So, quick question for everyone: How would you view a trade of Duhaime and Dewar as a message to Yurov? If his contract is negotiated but not signed, it seems like he's signaling a window for Guerin to sign him. 

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    9 minutes ago, mnfaninnc said:

    So, quick question for everyone: How would you view a trade of Duhaime and Dewar as a message to Yurov? If his contract is negotiated but not signed, it seems like he's signaling a window for Guerin to sign him. 

    Do it!

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