At this time of year, minor league rosters are constantly in flux. Top players may end up recalled to their parent teams for the playoffs, while top prospects are arriving for their first taste of professional action. The latter is exactly what has happened for the Henderson Silver Knights, as Daniil Chayka has been reassigned to the AHL after his junior season came to an end.
Chayka, 19, was selected 38th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2021, after pair of trades landed them in that position. The Russian defenseman had already played two seasons in the OHL by the time he was selected and had also had a short showing at the KHL level. This year, he returned to the Guelph Storm and dominated, recording 39 points in 53 games while continuing to improve on his already excellent defensive skills.
Interestingly enough, the beginning of the second round was actually considered quite low for Chayka compared to where many projected him before the 2020-21 season. Because the OHL didn’t play and he was forced back to Russia, he ended up dropping from the middle-first ranking he once held. All of that is to the benefit of the Golden Knights, who nabbed him even after trading down and will now get to see him (potentially) at the professional level in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Chayka will join Henderson in Colorado, where they will play tonight and tomorrow against the Eagles and try to keep their hopes alive. Already down 1-0 in the three-game series, the Silver Knights need a win this evening.