Grigorenko falls to Buffalo, selected 12th overall

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The Buffalo Sabres are hoping the many teams that passed on Mikhail Grigorenko made a giant mistake. The big, talented Russian went 12th overall in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft to a team that had promised to address the center position this summer.

Ranked No. 3 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Grigorenko saw his star fall after an underwhelming playoff performance with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

“Eleven teams didn’t draft me so too bad for them,” Grigorenko said. “I’m No. 1 pick for Buffalo Sabres.”

For his draft profile, click here.

Grigorenko joins a Sabres squad that acquired another highly touted, young center in Cody Hodgson at the trade deadline.

There’s no guarantee Grigorenko will be playing in the NHL next year, but expect the Derek Roy trade speculation to heat up nonetheless. The diminutive center has one year left on his contract ($4 million cap hit) before he can become an unrestricted free agent, and you have to assume his future past that point won’t be in Buffalo.

Related: Patrick Roy sticks up for Grigorenko