As rookie seasons go they don't get much more tumultuous than the one Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko experienced in 2012-13.
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.
"Last year was kind of tough. I didn't have a good summer with the mono. I had the draft and so much travelling with the Russia-Canada Summit Series" Grigorenko told NHL.com last week at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. "I didn't have any routine to stay in training. It was kind of hard."