Day 8: Mikhail Grigorenko. C, Quebec, 3 NA.
At six-foot-three, with good skating and unparalleled vision among this year’s draft candidates, Mikhail Grigorenko offensive offside is equal to or even greater than that of consensus number one Nail Yakupov.
As a rookie, Grigorenko scored 40 goals and recorded 85 points in 59 regular season games. He followed that up with a tepid playoff in which he scored just three times in 11 post-season games.
After the playoffs, Grigorenko revealed he had been ill with mononucleosis and didn’t have the energy necessary to compete. Scouts, however, have been wary of what they see as sometimes indifferent periods of play.
It’s just that everything Grigorenko does seems so easy. His skating isn’t exceptional but economical. He holds on to the puck so confidently it seems like he’s hardly trying but he is unerring in finding the right player.
Grigorenko did not take part in any testing at the NHL combine but spoke to representatives from interested teams.
“I’m healthy but I just came to talk to people,” he said.
While Grigorenko insists he is only interested in playing in the NHL, the spectre of the KHL competing for his rights makes him a risky choice despite his abundant talent.