Meet Daniil Misyul, New Jersey Devils Latest Signing

Daniil Misyul - New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
Daniil Misyul - New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

The future of the New Jersey Devils’ blueline got even brighter on Thursday when the team announced they had signed prospect defenseman Daniil Misyul to a two-year ELC (entry-level contract), beginning with the 2023-24 season. 

Daniil Misyul is a name that is probably most familiar to hardcore hockey fans, the most dedicated New Jersey Devils fans, and draftniks alike. Former GM Ray Shero drafted the Belarusian-born Russian defender with the 70th overall pick in 2019. As we all know, Jack Hughes was picked in that draft too.

A forgotten prospect due to doubts about coming over to North America, Misyul brings with him a wealth of experience, racking up 184 KHL appearances since 2018. Since then, the left-shot defender has played just one game in the MHL (Russia’s junior hockey league), proving himself to be a fixture with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL over time.

At first glance, something that sticks out with Misyul is his lack of offensive production. During his time in the KHL, he never exceeded seven total points in a season. Of course, this does not represent all of the blueliner’s ability. Misyul is widely regarded as a skilled defender who uses the reach of his 6’3″ frame efficiently, and he is also able to transport the puck up the ice using both his smooth skating and decisive passing. Misyul excels at turning defense into offense and isn’t afraid to take the offense part upon himself, either.

Misyul’s size and game are reminiscent of two of his countrymen: Vladislav Gavrikov and Artem Zub. Neither of these players spent time in the AHL and made the jump from the KHL to the NHL right away.

It might seem unlikely to some that Misyul makes the NHL roster right away, and maybe he doesn’t. Jonas Siegenthaler is a lineup lock, and Luke Hughes is expected to nail down a full-time roster spot with Brendan Smith still under contract for another year as well. Ryan Graves getting an extension seems unfathomable at this point, and Kevin Bahl has grown into a solid but one-dimensional player.

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If the series against the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes showed us anything, it’s that the Devils can and will be punished for their lack of mobility and creativity on the back end. Misyul and Hughes can fix that.