Though his first season in the NHL was one to forget, Mikhail Grigorenko remains a tantalizing talent who should make a much bigger impact in his sophomore campaign. Lauded for his elite offensive talent coming out of the QMJHL, "Grigo" could be the first-line center that the Sabres have been longing for.
Hockeysfuture.com offers this analysis of the Russian playmaker:
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.
In the above video (from a year ago), B/R Contributor Ryan O'Leary likens Grigorenko to Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks. However, due to his pass-first mentality and penchant for staying away from physical play, I would compare him to Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators. Either way, the Sabres should be excited about the possibilities.
Thanks to the fact that No. 1 centers come at such a premium, Grigorenko reaching his potential would leave the Sabres with a true superstar. None of the other prospects have that kind of ceiling, making Grigorenko the top man in the Sabres system.