NHL Draft 2012 Prospects: #4 Mikhail Grigorenko

CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 5: Mikhail Grigorenko #17 of Team Russia digs for the puck under Mattias Backman #5 of Team Sweden during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal game at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 5, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.

The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).

However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.

So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.

So without further ado:

Introducing our 2012 NHL #4 Draft Prospect - Mikhail Grigorenko:


Mikhail Grigorenko

Center / Quebec Remparts

6-3.25

200

May 16 1994



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011/12 - Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
70
43
52
95
33 16

Accomplishments & Awards:

Year Award
2011/12 QMJHL Rookie of the Year

QMJHL First All-Star Team

QMJHL Best Professional Prospect "Mike Bossy Trophy"

QMJHL All-Rookie Team

CHL Top Prospects Team

U20 WJC Silver Medal
2010/11
U18 WJC Bronze Medal

MHL Champion

Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?):

Grigorenko_medium

The next Zherdev/Filatov, or can he be more?

Summarized Scouting Report

Strengths:

big, strong playmaking forward ... elite offensive talent ... possesses the size, strength and skill teams covet in a first-line centre ... skates very well for a player of his size, with a smooth stride ... great size and skill ... not afraid to get his nose dirty ... very difficult to knock off the puck ... ability to protect the puck with his long reach ... drives to the net with force ... can score from anywhere on the ice ... has a strong one-timer and a good wrist shot ... ability to move in traffic with his size ... has great hands for a big man ... has silky smooth hands to dangle around defenders ... taking key faceoffs winning more than he loses ... great tape to tape passes ... makes his teammates better players by controlling the pace of the game ... sees the ice and opportunities really well ... has the patience and the ability to see opportunities and let them develop ... shows that he knows what to do in the defensive zone…

Weaknesses:

has a strong one-timer and a good wrist shot that he uses far to infrequently ... can go though stretches where all he does is look to pass the puck becoming too predictable ... has to continue working on his all-around game ... will take some shifts and games off ... at times he lacks intensity and consistency in his effort levels ... needs to bring more consistency

HW Projection:

Topline Offensive center - if he can develop some consistency to his game

Video Evidence:

Mikhail Grigorenko 2011/12 season (via elhefe2222)

Where Does He Fit In The Wild?

Superskilled forward with a huge frame that he needs to fill and lacks consistency ... reminds me of Benoit Pouliot.

If you haven't noticed, I have a grudge on Pouliot, I personally hate players with tons of skill but lacks the drive that is so important in a player.

So while I wouldn't like Grigorenko, he's still super damn skilled and would look really good in a Wild sweater.

Conclusion

Another Russian prospect with tons of skills but character questions.

He's got all the tools to make a superstar NHL centerman; size, reach, skating and offensive skills. He has also proven himself a good junior player, becoming one of the top QMJHL players this year. He was also considered to be a challenger of the #1 spot for this year's draft because he is just that good.

However, if you combine the ideas that he lacks drive as well as him being a Russian, you have two things that would scare many NHL teams.

Now, if you do your due diligence and find that Grigorenko has no desire to head back to Russia AND he actually is secretly passionate with his hockey and his inconsistency is just a result of developing pains, then Grigorenko could go as high as #2. But you have the same doubts as I do and you wouldn't want to risk the pick when you have more sure-fire prospects in Ryan Murray and Alex Galchenyuk, you'll pass on him for the said players.

Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report

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