Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan said Saturday that top center Cody Hodgson is ready to return from an injury and two of the team's top young assets will continue their development at a lower level.
Hodgson, who left a game Dec. 19 after blocking a shot from Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, has eight goals and 19 points in 33 games this season. He leads the team in points and is tied for the lead in goals despite missing 10 games.
Hodgson practiced Saturday on a line with captain Steve Ott and wing Matt D'Agostini, according to the Sabres official Twitter feed.
To make room, Nolan said forward Johan Larsson, who has one point in 21 games for the Sabres, will be sent to Rochester of the American Hockey League.
Also, 2012 first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko, who has three points in 18 games for the Sabres and was allowed to join his native Russia's entry in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, will be sent to the Quebec Ramparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
However, Grigorenko's agent, Jay Grossman, said his client will not report to Quebec but did not provide additional details in a text message to The Associated Press. Grigorenko has eight points in 43 NHL games since Buffalo selected him with 12th pick in 2012.
"We're not looking at what he can do now. We're looking at what he can do down the road," Nolan told Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. "He was a little bit upset, I would imagine. But this is non-negotiable."
Harrington reported Ville Leino, who has been out since leaving a game on New Year's Eve with a lower-body injury, is expected to play Sunday when the Sabres meet the Washington Capitals in a matinee at Verizon Center.