Before the NHL staged its annual prospect combine for the 2012 NHL Draft, Grigorenko, a center with the Quebec Remparts, was criticized for a lack of effort. When mononucleosis forced him to sit out the fitness testing, the stock dropped further for a player with as much natural talent as anyone on hand.
The Russian fell to the Sabres, who drafted him at No. 12. Having weathered that storm, and an up-and-down first pro season, he spent much of this summer training with the Sabres in Buffalo.
Grigorenko is forecasting big things for 2013-14.