Is Ivan Morozov out the door?

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Ivan Morozov signed a two-year extension with Spartak Moskva. Here's what that means for the ex-Henderson Silver Knights star.
Calgary Wranglers v Henderson Silver Knights
Calgary Wranglers v Henderson Silver Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The Vegas Golden Knights received some bad news on Monday, with one of their prospects signing a two-year extension elsewhere. Ivan Morozov, the player in question, agreed to play two more years with Spartak Moskva. Originally, the Henderson Silver Knights star was selected as the 61st pick in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft before being loaned out to Spartak this season.

This year, he scored 38 points in 37 games for the KHL club. Overall, he's scored 34 goals and 53 assists in seven seasons in the league. The KHL extension is unfortunate for the Golden Knights, who need as much forward talent as they can.

With the departure of up to five offensive pieces to free agency, the restricted free agent seems destined to leave the club. That will likely add to the exodus of talent leaving the organization starting in July. But is there a pathway to keeping the Russian forward or is this it for the prospect?

Ivan Morozov is likely sticking with Spartak Moskva

Ivan Morozov is another prototypical two-way player in the Vegas Golden Knights system. He can skate extremely well and is smart with the puck. He was picked because of his offensive attributes, including a nice scoring touch and soft hands. So how did he do in the AHL with the Henderson Silver Knights?

In 2022-23, Morozov had a productive campaign with Henderson. He scored six goals and 17 points in 58 games. However, he's had better tenures with Spartak Moskva, which is why he was extended in the first place. Therefore, it stands with reason that he'll stay in the KHL, even if the Golden Knights give an offer sheet. Even with a matching offer, he's proven his worth on a loan in his native Russia.

What the Vegas Golden Knights could miss with Morozov

Aside from his offensive traits, Ivan Morozov is also strong in the neutral zone. Here, he uses his speed for multiple reasons, including creating rushes and catching opponents on defense. He's also viable on special teams, where he can work on the penalty kill and power play.

But let's go back to his hockey intelligence, where he can make anything happen out of thin air. Whether it's pickpocketing an incoming player or suddenly entering the play, Morozov will give Spartak Moskva a more dynamic offense. The Vegas Golden Knights won't likely have that in their system, hurting them.

Overall, the former Henderson Silver Knights star brings an offensive prowess fueled by his speed and skating ability. The KHL is built on being faster and more agile, which will fit Ivan Morozov perfectly. For a Golden Knights team needing forward talent, having another player potentially leave will hurt them.