NHL Rookie Watch: Mikhail Grigorenko – Buffalo Sabres
- Updated: November 5, 2013
Mikhail Grigorenko Scouting Reports
Date of birth: 05/06/1994
Height: 6′ 3″
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round, 12th overall in 2012 by Buffalo.
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.
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.
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.
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