His team is so happy that they’ve extended his contract for an additional year, which might not be great news for the Avalanche.
Gulyayev, who was a first round pick by Colorado in the NHL draft this past summer, signed a contract extension with Avangard today that will keep him in the KHL until 2026. His previous deal with the team was until 2025, so it’s only a one year extension.
The 18 year old defenseman is off to a strong start this season, with 2 goals and 5 points in 17 games. He’s become a regular on Avangard’s blueline, which isn’t always easy for a teenager in the KHL.
Of late, he’s started to show some aggressiveness offensively, scoring his first two goals in Russia’s top league. Prior to that, he had been playing a bit more timid and restrained, making sure he earns the trust of the coaching staff.
This is like a hockey art and Mikhail Gulyayev is an artist. pic.twitter.com/jhuOsgmV2w
— KHL (@khl_eng) October 13, 2023
It’s tough news for the Avalanche because the Devon Toews extension means somebody will be squeezed out on the blueline because of the salary cap. An entry-level contract to add to tge team could be very useful to them. In addition, the KHL has struggled to develop NHL defensemen in recent years, so the quicker he can come to North America, the better.
A one year extension isn’t the end of the world, nor is it terribly surprising, but it just delays Gulyayev’s arrival to the NHL.
I’ll keep everyone updated on Gulyayev and other prospects in the organization throughout the season here at CHN.