Most of the early scouting lists had QMJHL star Mikhail Grigorenko penciled in as the No. 2 prospect behind Nail Yakupov, but after the final couple months of his season Grigorenko started dropping like a rock. A mix of poor health, KHL worries, and erratic play seemed to be the reasons for his tumble. Even former Flames GM and Craig Button ranked Grigorenko 20th on his list for TSN.
Grigorenko knows his stock has fallen for one reason or another and he tells Arpon Basu of NHL.com he looks forward to proving everyone wrong once he reaches the NHL.
“I was waiting for this,” Grigorenko, 18, said after being named the Canadian Hockey League’s BMO Rookie of the Year. “Before the (final) ratings I understood where I would be because during the season I had good games and I was first or second, but after I had a bad playoffs and I went down.”
If you’re looking for a potential player to compare to Grigorenko should he fall in the first round, look no further than Devils captain Zach Parise who fell to the Devils at 17th overall. Parise was believed to be a top five talent but fell thanks to different concerns. That’s putting the cart way before the horse, but let’s just throw that out there on the chance Grigorenko turns out to be huge.
If teams at the top pass on Grigorenko, they’d best be sure they know what they’re getting when they pick as Grigorenko could be in the NHL as soon as next season if his talent is true.