It is official, the Buffalo Sabres have signed both of their first round draft picks. Today the Buffalo Sabres announced they have come to terms with Russian Center Mikhail Grigorenko on a three year entry level deal.
Grigorenko was the highest forward drafted by the Buffalo Sabres since the organization took Thomas Vanek with the 5th overall selection in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Mikhail was the third-ranked North American skater and top North American center on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.
In 2011-12, Grigorenko scored 85 points (40+45) while picking up just 12 penalty minutes for the Quebec Remparts in his first QMJHL season. He led all first-year players in the league in goals and points, and was second in regular-season assists. Despite only playing in 59 games, Grigorenko’s 40 goals and 85 points tied him for fifth and eighth place, respectively, among all players in the league.
With Grigorenko and Girgensons signed, the Buffalo Sabres now have depth at the center position they did not have anymore. While there is still no clear number one center in the organization – The Buffalo Sabres are closer to being able to roll out three-four threatening lines successfully – much like they did in the two seasons out of the lockout where they found success.
While it is likely that one of the two center prospects will start in the American Hockey League with the Rochester Americans – the ability – both talent and size wise is there for one of them to make an impression at training camp and remain on the opening night roster for the start of the 2012-2013 season (CBA talks pending).
Congratulations to Mikhail Grigorenko on signing with the Buffalo Sabres – and we all look forward to seeing him in Blue and Gold.