Despite initial reports last month that Mikhail Grigorenko would play this entire season with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, it was announced on Monday, Jan. 7 that he will attend the Buffalo Sabres training camp when it starts next weekend.
Grigorenko was drafted 12th overall by the Buffalo Sabres during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft back in April. So far during this current QMJHL season, Grigorenko has scored 29 goals and added 21 assists for 50 total points in 30 games with the Quebec Remparts. Last season with the Remparts, he notched 45 goals and 40 assists for a total of 85 points in 59 games. Recently, during the IIHF World Junior Championships, he scored 2 goals and added 4 assists, helping Russia win the Bronze medal in the tournament.
According to Remparts coach Patrick Roy in an interview with the French-language Canadian Sports Network RDS on Sunday, Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier wants to bring Grigorenko to Buffalo for at least the entirety of the Sabres training camp, which due to the lockout is expected to start on Saturday and last only a week. If the Sabres deem that he is possibly ready for NHL action, he will likely get at least get a nine-game tryout before determining if he is set for the big leagues or in need of more seasoning at the Junior level.
The latter would greatly please Patrick Roy.
“I'm still hoping he will back with the Remparts to finish the season. For us, his loss would obviously be devastating, because we count on him a lot." Roy said.
However, the Sabres likely want to Mikhail Grigorenko ready for the NHL as soon as possible, and won’t hesitate to keep him with the big club if they feel he is ready, as his potential is very intriguing.