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Flames prospect Matvei Gridin selected first overall by Val-d’Or in CHL Import Draft

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Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
Mike Gould
18 days ago
The Val-d’Or Foreurs have selected Calgary Flames prospect Matvei Gridin with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 CHL Import Draft.
Gridin, 18, spent the 2023-24 season with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, collecting a league-leading 83 points (38 goals, 45 assists) in 60 games. The Flames subsequently selected the Kurgan, Russia product in the first round (No. 28 overall) of the 2024 NHL Draft.
Although Gridin previously committed to attend the University of Michigan, it now appears he’ll continue his career in the QMJHL. The Hockey News‘ Connor Earegood and the Grand Forks Herald‘s Brad Elliott Schlossman both reported Wednesday morning that Gridin has long planned to go the major junior route instead of playing in the NCAA, with Earegood indicating that Gridin made the decision for “academic reasons.”
Additionally, The Athletic prospect writer Scott Wheeler confirmed that Gridin’s original plan was to play in the CHL before the league banned Russian and Belarusian players from being selected in the Import Draft back in April 2022. The CHL lifted that ban this past spring, paving the way for Gridin to be selected.
Wheeler also reported that Val-d’Or may soon trade Gridin’s CHL rights to the Rimouski Océanic, who are slated to host the 2025 Memorial Cup. A move to Rimouski would give Gridin the chance to play for a championship while also uniting him with the likes of Spencer Gill (PHI), Luke Coughlin (FLA), and reigning QMJHL MVP Mathieu Cataford (VGK).
Gridin was the fourth Russian player to be selected in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft, following Ivan Demidov (MTL), Anton Silayev (NJ), and Egor Surin (NSH). He is the first Russian player the Flames have drafted with a first-round pick since Oleg Saprykin in 1999.
Before joining the Lumberjacks in the 2022-23 season, Gridin played in the Spartak St. Petersburg and Avangard Omsk developmental systems over in Russia. NHL Central Scouting ranked Gridin as the No. 21 North American skater (based on league location, not the player’s country of origin) available in this year’s draft.
Gridin is slated to take part in the Flames’ annual prospect development camp and will wear No. 51 on Team MacNeil. On-ice sessions at Winsport will begin on Thursday and conclude with the ever-popular scrimmage on Saturday.

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