Tall and thin, Mikhail Grigorenko is an 18 year old stud from Khabarovsk, Russia. He is perhaps too young for someone like me to project, although Patrick Roy (yes, that Patrick Roy) traded up to grab him for the Quebec Remparts in the Import Draft last summer. He rewarded Roy and the Remparts with 85 points in 59 games, including 40 goals, leading all rookies in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Of course, this is all information you could have read on Wikipedia, but like a man trying to dig a hole with his fingers, that’s just scratching the surface. Grigorenko is expected to go high in the Entry Draft and will likely end up with the Blue Jackets or Canadiens. Although either scenario isn’t enticing in terms of the 2012-2013 season, I think he’d be much better off in Montreal, where a young core of talent is being developed. Edmonton is also interested, and the Oilers’ brass invited Grigorenko to undergo a round of fitness testing and media meet & greet last week. However, Nail Yakupov was also in town a few days prior, and Edmonton is crazy like a deep fried burrito if they go with Grigorenko over Yakupov.
After the draft at the end of this month, we’ll have to do a recap of the big prospects and where they went, but for Grigorenko, there are likely two scenarios for fantasy fans – in keeper leagues, if he’s still available for your fantasy draft, you snatch him like a South American kidnapping, and you do it before the 9th round, as he will likely be gone before the double digit rounds. In redraft leagues, you take him a little later. In shallow and less competitive leagues, you can probably wait until after the 16th round. Overall, his production will suffer based on what he will have around him, but a pure talent like Grigorenko can still create points for his owners.