Beast mode is one way of describing the season that Mikhail Grigorenko is having. Another way of describing it is a man playing in a boys league. Buffalo Sabres fans are hopeful that when the NHL breaks Lockout 2012 – Grigorenko will be able to make the instant jump to the NHL game and have a positive impact on a position the Buffalo Sabres are in a major need for.
Drafted 12th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft – many were worried that the Buffalo Sabres had drafted a flight risk – and that the calling to play in his home country for the KHL would be too strong.
He is currently sitting with the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL – and through 28 games he has 26 goals and 21 assists and is a plus ten – there is no stopping him in the “Q”. He still has some adjusting to do the North American game – but his pure ability to move up and down the ice as a big man on the pivot is something the Buffalo Sabres are desperately needing. Playing for Patrick Roy in the QMJHL is not honing his skills much more than they already are; and despite his need for the North American practice, playing against the best in his class is a great way for him to show the Buffalo Sabres that he is ready when they are to don the Blue and Gold.
If the call to play at home is strong with Grigorenko, then he will get his chance at the World Juniors – playing in Ufa, Russia is the closest thing to home for the young center, despite Ufa and his home town of Khabarovsk being separated by a 93 hour drive.