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2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Mikhail Grigorenko

by Greg Fernandez / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center will be hosting the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22nd and 23rd. In the days leading up to the event, will be putting the spotlight on some of the best and brightest draft-eligible prospects.

Position: Center                                         
Height: 6-foot-3                                       
Weight: 200 pounds
Shoots: Left
Born: May 16, 1994                             
Born in: Khabarovsk, RUS
Played the 2011-12 season with: Quebec Remparts (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)

2010-11 CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR 38 13 17 30
2011-12 QUEBEC QMJHL 59 40 45 85
2011-12 RUSSIA WORLD JUNIOR 6 2 3 5

NHL Central Scouting: No. 3 among North American skaters
The Hockey News: No. 3
McKeen’s Hockey: No. 9
Red Line Report: No. 8
TSN: No. 4

NHL Comparison: Jason Spezza
NHL Potential: "Has the capability of being a skilled number one center at the NHL level, but will he have the desire?" - Grant MaCagg, TSN

Starting hockey at the young age of 5, center Mikhail Grigorenko didn’t really enjoy the sport because “he wasn’t very good.” But, after excelling in the Minor Hockey League with CSKA-2 in Russia as a 16-year-old (17G-18A-35P) while performing against players as old as 22, it appears Grigorenko made the correct decision to continue playing. Grigorenko went on to dominate in the World U-18 Championship, compiling 18 points (4G-14A) in seven games while helping Russia claim a bronze medal. The following year, the Russian center decided to come to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was drafted by the Patrick Roy led Quebec Remparts. The big-bodied center proved the former great goaltender Roy was wise to draft him as he continued to dominate, finishing the year as the highest scoring rookie (40G-45A-85P) and earning the Michel Bergeron trophy (best offensive rookie). After observing him throughout the year, one NHL scout told The Hockey News “he’s a very talented player – he’s got everything. He’s way ahead – he’s like a man already. Every time he has the puck, he makes something happen and seldom does he make the wrong play.”

“Grigorenko is a big player with underrated strength that can be difficult to move once he gets a head of steam. What separates him from other prospects is his ability to make sensational passes while looking off. Defensemen are forced into playing him closely, since he’s a capable scorer and can unleash a wicked wrist shot that he releases without warning.”

- McKeen’s Hockey

Grigorenko represented Russia at the 2012 World Junior Championship, recording five points (2G-3A) in six games, helping Russia capture a silver medal. As a member of Team Russia at the 2011 World Under-18 Championship, he led his team to a bronze medal, leading the tournament with 14 assists (4G-14A-18P) in seven games. He also represented Russia at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he scored 10 points (6G-4A-10P) in six games and was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

In 2010-11, Grigorenko collected 35 points (17G-18A-35P) in 43 games while playing for CSKA-2 where he competed against players as old as 22. He was selected second overall in the 2011 CHL Import Draft -- the Remparts traded up twice to secure him.

His brother, Yuri, also played hockey, competing in Russia and Belarus from 2001 to 2006.

NHL team: Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL player: Ilya Kovalchuk
Shootout move: “Fake shot, backhand and shoot”
Video game: FIFA ‘12
Movie: The Notebook
TV show: Californication
Actress: Rachel McAdams
Restaurant: McDonalds
Sport (other than hockey): Soccer
Breakfast food: “Flakes”
Superhero: Batman

Information courtesy of
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