NHL Draft Prospect Profile #1 Nail Yakupov

NHL Draft Prospect Profile #3: Ryan Murray

April 6, 2012 Comments (9) NHL, NHL Draft HQ

NHL Draft Prospect Profile #2: Mikhail Grigorenko


Drafted #12 Overall By Buffalo Sabres

As we continue with our draft prospect profiles, we move on to last word’s number 2 ranked prospect, Mikhail Grigorenko, of the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL.

Born May 16 1994 Khabarovsk, Russia
Height 6.03 — Weight 195 — Shoots L

2011-12 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 59 40 45 85 12 35

Grigorenko is the big prototypical top 6 offensive centre that teams dream about when they enter the draft lottery.  He’s got the ideal size, and the offensive skill that every team in the NHL would love to have.  He has excellent vision and passing ability and will be a playmaker at the next level.  Many scouts have compared his game to Joe Thornton, as the big playmaking centre, who controls the play, can’t be knocked off the puck, and has superb vision and passing abilities.  Grigorenko however has the added dimension of an excellent wrist shot and release, he’s shown the ability to score goal.  A year in North America playing for the Quebec Remparts can only help him as it shows his adaptation to the smaller ice, to the language, and dispels some of the fears (not all) but some of the fears about the KHL.

On the negative side, some scouts have questioned his desire and say he doesn’t bring a consistent effort level on a regular basis.  He’s also very much a perimeter player and not really a physical presence despite his great size.  The Russian factor may also come into play here, however as in the case of Nail Yakupov, it is somewhat diminished by the fact Grigorenko is playing in North America.

One does have to question how true these concerns are, as here is a guy who played through a severely sprained ankle in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championships and still played in the Semi-Final and Final for Russia.  He’s also received a ton of praise from his junior coach, Patrick Roy, for his effort level and dedication.  If we’ve learned anything about Roy over the years, he’s not the type of coach who will give this praise easily or just to soothe his players egos, see his famous rant about Mikhail Stefanovich after a playoff game in which his team WON.

The thing that cannot be denied is that Grigorenko has the skill to be a franchise changing centre in the NHL.  However the question marks will be what will keep him out of the number 1 spot on draft day.  He will however be drafted very high, and the NHL team that takes him will be hoping that the concerns are overrated or that their development staff will be able to address those question marks, and help him become the elite player he has the potential to be.

…and that is the last word.

9 Responses to NHL Draft Prospect Profile #2: Mikhail Grigorenko

  1. B.Kerr says:

    As the site’s resident Habs fan/writer, I think Grigs would be a great fit in Montreal.

    Remember though these are our site rankings, in my personal rankings I’ve got Grigs just a smidge behind Galchenyuk, who I’d rather see in the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge, and who I believe has “Trevor Timmins pick” written all over him.

  2. […] expected to challenge his teammate Nail Yakupov and fellow centre Mikhail Grigorenko for the #1 overall draft position when this season began.  Unfortunately he suffered a horrific ACL […]

  3. […] long number 2 rated prospect Mikhail Grigorenko badly sprained his ankle at the World Juniors and missed several weeks of QMJHL play.  He has […]

  4. […] their junior hockey in the MHL, rather than kids who come to North America like Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko. Vasilevski was also the 7th overall pick in the KHL draft, which is a strong indication that his […]

  5. […] Anaheim Ducks – Mikhail Grigorenko After reaping the big benefit of Cam Fowler falling on draft boards in 2010, the Ducks are thrilled […]

  6. […] Slepyshev quite a few ranks.  If he were playing in the CHL, like fellow Russians Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko, we think he would be a late first round pick.  However the fear that he will stay in the KHL for […]

  7. […] Sabres: Got great value picks in Mikhail Grigorenko, and Zemgus Girgensons, two players who solve the Sabres need for big centres.  Also got good […]

  8. […] Draft Picks Reviewed in our Preview: Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Jake […]

  9. […] match-ups. The roster is dependent on the growth of two high-end picks from this draft in Mikhail Grigorenko and Nail Yakupov. Russia also has a very strong talent pool coming out next year, so things can […]

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