When the Buffalo Sabres picked Mikhail Grigorenko 12th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, they knew they were getting an all-world talent. For the first time in years, GM Darcy Regier picked a kid who had a chance to make an immediate impact on the team.
So why do so many think Grigorenko is destined to be a star?
Read TSN's assessment of him midway through last season and you'll understand why:
Possesses the size, strength and skill teams covet in a first-line centre, protects the puck well and has great hands for a big man. Also has a smooth, powerful stride and drives to the net with force. Has a heavy shot, great vision and passing skills, elite offensive talent. Not afraid to get his nose dirty when so inclined.
Realize, too, that they had him ranked second among all prospects at that point last year.
Coming up, we're going to take a look at three reasons this 18-year-old Russian will become a star in the NHL.