Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/2/13
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." Grigorenko was a force with the Remparts starting the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season with a 12-game scoring streak when he collected 24 points. By the time Buffalo's abbreviated training camp got started Grigorenko was one of its top prospects. Following a strong performance in Russia's bronze-medal run at the World Junior Championship Grigorenko made the NHL lineup out of training camp; at 18 years old he was the League's youngest player on opening night.
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