NHL Rookie Watch: Mikhail Grigorenko – Buffalo Sabres


Mikhail GrigorenkoMikhail Grigorenko Scouting Reports

Date of birth: 05/06/1994
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 200
Position: C
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round, 12th overall in 2012 by Buffalo.

Corey Pronman Hockey Prospectus - @coreypronman

Year in Review: Grigorenko was a top offensive force in the QMJHL again, and he was a top forward at the World Juniors. Still, he displayed significant struggles at the NHL level as an 18-year-old.

The Good: Grigorenko is a great puck possessor, and a well above-average puck handler, with elite hockey sense. He can simply dazzle with his puck control and unique playmaking skills. Grigorenko is also an agile, shifty skater. He has a big body, and he can protect the puck fine. He also has a top-end shot. His ability to produce offense is elite.

The Bad: Grigorenko, despite his size, is not all that physical, although he can still win some battles. His defense needs some work, and his top speed could be a little better as well.

Projection: He could be an All-Star center.

Internationals Scouting Services - @ISSHockey

A very talented playmaker, Grigorenko saw a good amount of games last season and should see his role expand with the rebuilding Sabres. He is very good at building up and playing off of the talents around him. He has great size, quick hands and thinks the game very well offensively.

Dobber Prospects@dobberprospects

September 2013 - If you were looking to catch Grigorenko on Buffalo’s prospect roster at their recent tournament in Traverse City you would have been left disappointed. Mikhail was ruled ineligible due to the fact that he appeared in 25 games for Sabres last season. Grigorenko’s ceiling still remains high for the future but don’t expect fantasy star success for the 2013-14 season. Expect improvements to his game with 25-40 points. Travis Watson

Fantasy Outlook: A+
With his size and skill combination, his ceiling is arguably the highest in his draft class.

Carl Maloney of The Hockey Writers@maloney3383

The big Russian centre started last season with the Sabres and played in 25 games before being returned to the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL. While it was premature to rush him to the NHL at 18, the fact still remains, Grigorenko has the total package of speed, skill and size that are very hard to find in an NHL centre.

He gained valuable experience last season before returning to Quebec and scoring 30 goals in 33 games. He will start this season with the Sabres as well, but this year he’ll stick.

Grigorenko’s first NHL goal on Jan. 19th, 2013

Grigorenko drafted 12th overall

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  1. #1 by Paul S at November 5th, 2013

    Here’s my report having watched his 25 games last year and most of games this year.
    Slow skater, has trouble keeping up with NHL games speed. Looks lost, afraid to commit for fear of making mistakes. Not physical, loses battles for puck, low compete level accepts defeat easily. Poor attitude, dowsn’t accept coaching well, takes criticism personally.
    Projects to 4th line center or 3rd line winger…may be a bust and jump to KHL.

  2. #2 by Dan at November 6th, 2013

    So Paul S. knows more than professional scouts. How would he know that he has a “poor attitude and dowsn’t accept coaching well”. Is he in the dressing room? Is he on the ice during practices? Heck, he can’t even spell….what the heck is “dowsn’t”

    The issue with Grigorenko is he is 19 years old. Smart organizations such as Detroit would never rush a prospect and have moron fans trash them at the NHL level. Ryan Strome is a great a prospect drafted by the Islander’s the year earlier, who like Grigorenko put up huge #’s in junior hockey is playing in the AHL. There are numerous draft picks chosen before Grigorenko who are either still in junior or playing in the AHL. The issue is the management of the Buffalo Sabre’s.

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