Danil Zhuravlyov, a fifth-round draft choice of the Colorado Avalanche in 2018, has decided to go back to his native Russia and, thus, has been officially suspended by the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League. NHL sources describe the reasons to Colorado Hockey Now why Zhuravlyov left as “personal and family-related.” The suspension is not because of any personal misconduct or other off-ice issues.
Zhuravlyov was/is considered a good prospect as a defenseman in the Avalanche system. But his statistics this season, at least offensively, weren’t very impressive. He had just one point (an assist) in 14 games with the Eagles. He had played the previous three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Avalanche last summer.
Zhuravlyov is 22. The Avalanche will still hold his NHL contractual rights for the extent of his two years signed last summer. If he tries to play with a KHL team again, that team would have to negotiate with the Avalanche. A similar situation happened with Avalanche Russian prospect Vladislav Kamenev a couple years ago, when he went back to Russia to play in the KHL while still under contract in the NHL to the Avalanche.
In the games I saw Zhuravlyov play, I was impressed by his skating and movement with the puck. Whatever it is that prompted him to want to go back home, we’ll see if things change. As far as I’m told, he could be reinstated by the Avalanche/Eagles if there is a change of heart, but as of now I’m told that he may just want to go back home and stay back home, period.