Darcy sure did something in selecting Mikhail Grigorenko with the 12 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft and SabreNation is buzzing with excitement and intrigue.

Darcy sure did something in selecting Mikhail Grigorenko with the 12 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

At first glance, Grigorenko is everything the Sabres need in a new center. He’s 6-foot-3, weighs 200 pounds and is still growing. He’s an elite talent who notched 40 goals and 45 assists in 59 games for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL last season.

But no prospect in the draft has been more maligned than Grigorenko. Many have questioned his effort level and whether he’ll choose to play in the NHL or KHL.

SabreNation is buzzing with excitement and intrigue. Below is selection of articles and opinions about the Sabres new prospect.

Hockeysfuture.com Talent Analysis

A big man in the pivot position, Grigorenko is still adjusting to the North American game. Offensively, he displays great patience with the puck and the ability to find open ice or feed a pass to an open man. Although he has been criticized for his consistency and intensity, Grigorenko played through a handful of injuries during the year and his talent level is undeniable. A smooth skater with great hands, he made strides during the season to play a more all-around game.

TSN’s Craig Button is impressed with Grigorenko.

Mikhail possesses a unique blend of skill and size. He’s an excellent skater with a long stride who seemingly just moves past defenders with ease. He carries the puck very well and because he can change gears in stride, it makes him very difficult to deter. A very good passer who makes plays on the move and is able to do it in traffic. He has good sense and vision and sees the potential for offensive opportunities and he creates chances. His shot is good but not threatening at this time but he shows a willingness to make this more of a weapon for himself. Because of his size and wing span, he is extremely effective defensively and he’s able to force opponents away from dangerous areas and he is also able to fend off checkers when he’s in offensive situations. He plays the game both ways and while he’s not a physical presence, he is a player who creates challenges for opponents because of the skill and his size which he knows how to utilize to gain advantages. He possesses qualities and a potential that realized could make him a star.

Quebec’s Grigorenko was listed that the top draft prospect from QMJHL

He did the most damage to his stock in Quebec’s second-round playoff loss to the Halifax Mooseheads when he was virtually invisible in producing just three points and going minus-five in seven games. It was later revealed he played through the initial symptoms of mononucleosis in the final two games of the series but that only clouded scouts’ evaluations even more.

WGR550.com profiled Grigorenko calling him the draft’s Mystery Man.

When it comes to this draft there are plenty of variables, but perhaps none bigger than where Mikhail Grigorenko gets taken. You’ll find some scouts comparing him to Evgeni Malkin, while others will shy away because of his inconsistency.

As the Sabres seek elite players in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft there’s one player who is considered to be a potential number one, or could fall down the board Aaron-Rodgers-style.. It all depends who you ask about Mikhail Grigorenko.

The Montreal Gazette reports that Mikhail Grigorenko wants to fight back against the widespread criticism of his game.

In the last few months, the draft-eligible 18-year-old has heard it all. He has been called lazy, weak and uninterested, he has had his nationality thrown in his face as though it were something to be ashamed of, and he has received slings and arrows from scouts and pundits who probably have never seen him play.

Yahoo Sports looks into the odd rumors that have popped up around Mikhail Grigorenko over the past few days.

So why is it, one has to wonder, that when a Russian player actually kind of lives up to the reputation his countrymen have gained for whatever reason, that people have to go looking for other reasons to trash him?

Lots of people took the chance to speak out of both sides of their mouth during the Stanley Cup Finals, noting that Ilya Kovalchuk really needed to step up his game while simultaneously acknowledging he was playing with a debilitating back injury rumored to have been a herniated disc.

Yahoo sports reported that Mikhail Grigorenko is eager to prove doubters wrong.

The knocks on Grigorenko center around his work ethic on the ice – that he may not be engaged every shift. Maybe it’s the fact he’s a big, high-scoring pivot from the Quebec League, but Grigorenko is beginning to remind me of another draft dropper from last year – Sean Couturier.



  1. Another European player , another wasted pick . And yeah , he’s still growing , but doesn’t play like it . In fact , he plays like he’s 4 ft. , won’t go into corners , and when he does , he won’t hit anybody , or fight for the puck . Like any other European players . And , if they sent him to Rochester , he will ask for a trade .

  2. Very insightful Dwight.

    I mean, Russian players are considered European right? And Europeans are considered soft.

    I wish he played for a North American league. For that matter, I would want him to play for a coach that is tough. One that won’t put up with this kind of kid. But I guess that didn’t happen

    I LOVE BUFFALO SABRES FANS; oh, so knowledgeable fans /Sarcasm

    I’m not saying he’s gonna be good or bad, I haven’t seen what he can do yet, I cant make that judgement, let alone a judgement on his play when he wants to prove people wrong.

    But I’m sure that won’t deter “fans” from already making their mind up about a player, and will criticize him, like if he gives the puck up in the defensive zone, I’m sure it will add more ammo for those that don’t like him, and no matter how many plays he creates, they will ignore it, and bring up all his negatives when they happen.

    Give the kid a chance.

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