The number of players heading to the World Juniors with Buffalo Sabres ties seems to be growing as the Sabres announced Mikhail Grigorenko will join Nikita Zadorov with Russia for the upcoming World Junior Championship.
The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will loan forward Mikhail Grigorenko to the Russian men’s national junior ice hockey team.
— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) December 5, 2013
The Buffalo Sabres have been looking for a way to send Grigorenko back to junior, but because of the CHL rule everything they have
tried has been turned down. Que the World Juniors. Since Grigorenko is still 19 he qualifies to join Russia for the tournament beginning the day after Christmas. This is the perfect place for Grigorenko right now and definitely the right move by the Buffalo Sabres.
Mikhail Grigorenko will be given lots of ice time as he looks to help Russia improve on their silver medal finish. He will get ice time, experience and hopefully the confidence he needs to play at the NHL level. This is the perfect place to see what Grigorenko has at this point in his career. He’ll playing against other players his age and will be called upon often. The question is whether he can rise to the occasion and succeed.
Grigorenko will stay with the Buffalo Sabres until Sunday when he and Zadorov travel to meet team Russia where they will begin camp leading up to the tournament.
Grigorenko has just 2 goals in 18 games and has seen himself spending more time in the press box than on the ice. The Buffalo Sabres attempted to send him to the AHL for a conditioning stint, but the move was blocked by the NHL and Grigorenko was returned to the Sabres. Ted Nolan and the Sabres have been at a loss with what to do with Grigorenko. In order for him to develop he needs to play, but he’s not ready to play in the NHL.
Hopefully Mikhail Grigorenko is excited about his opportunity to play at the World Juniors and can put up some impressive offence to show the Sabres -and himself- that he can play. Who knows, Grigorenko may come back a completely different play in 2014.