PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: Mikhail Grigorenko, 12th overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres, poses on stage with Sabres representatives during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Grigorenko's entry level contract comes right on the heels of fellow first rounder Zemgus Girgensons agreeing to terms, and now provides both players the chance to audition for a roster spot come training camp. However, unlike Girgensons, who played in the USHL, Grigorenko is not eligible to play for the Rochester Americans - should he fail to make the Sabres, he'll head back to the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL for another year.
After beginning last season as a consensus top-3 pick, Grigorenko slid all the way to #12 in this year's draft thanks to some questions about his intensity, and the fear that he may be tempted to play in Russia by the KHL. Despite reports that the Russian league offered him a large deal, it seems that those fears were unfounded.
What Buffalo got at a discount thanks to Grigorenko's slide is a pure playmaker and a big body at the center position. Grigorenko showed off his quick hands and hockey sense at development camp, and wowed the audience with an impressive shootout performance. He has as good a shot as any young player does at making the Sabres roster, and I'd be surprised if he didn't at least get the 9-game tryout before the team decides whether to send him to Quebec or not, similar to what happened with Tyler Myers in 2009.
With the two first round selections in the fold, the Sabres center position is starting to fall into place. Do you think Grigorenko will impress enough in training camp to make a run at a top-9 center role?