Just from looking at his highlights on youtube you know that Mikhail Grigorenko is going to be a rising star is the NHL. He stands 6'3 200 pounds. The Russian 18 year old looked awkward the first 10 minutes of his first practice as he introduced himself to his new teammates.
You can always tell when there is going to be a gifted player. Just seeing Grigorenko skate in the first drill I knew that Buffalo had someone special. He looked as if he was a younger Jason Spezza. Making clear crisp passes along the center of the ice, while showing the hands of a veteran really put an awe look on the fans watching him skate.
The question that fans are wondering is will he be on the team for the duration of the season or will Coach Ruff decide he is not ready to take on an NHL centre role?
It certainly will not be a shock if Buffalo sent him back down to Quebec for his final year in juniors knowing the Sabres have a history of caution in these matters.
It all comes down to whats best for Ruff's defensive system. they just signed Jochen Hecht to a one year contract for 1 million dollars. Hecht is a 35 year old signing that could help the team but he also represents as a failed investment because he isn't a premiere goal scorer like Grigorenko.
If a decision was made it would be smart for Buffalo to keep the 18 year old on the team while keeping Hecht centering he 4th line. It would bring fans by giving them what they want. Keeping Grigorenko on the team can nurture him in becoming a great centre by playing him with two proven veterans in Ville Leino and Steve Ott.
Overall, why would Buffalo settle for average in Jochen Hecht when they can gamble on greatness in Mikhail Grigorenko.