Avalanche Lock Up Mikhail Grigorenko

The Colorado Avalanche have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko, the team announced on Thursday.

Grigorenko was acquired by the Avs in the trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres around the draft. Colorado also acquired defenseman Nikita Zadorov, forward J.T. Compher and the 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft from the Sabres in the deal.

Grigorenko made sense for the Avs, since he had a good relationship with coach Patrick Roy from when he played under Roy on the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. In his final year with the Remparts, Grigorenko scored 30 goals and 24 points in 33 games.

Since that time he hasn’t been able to get a foothold on NHL time, bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL for the Sabres. Last season, he played 25 games for the Sabres, scoring three goals and three assists. He was effective at the AHL level however, scoring 14 goals and 22 assists through 43 games for the Rochester Americans.

There was a tense relationship, at least it seemed from the outside, with the Sabres. The expectation is that he makes the NHL squad out of camp in Colorado. That expectation cuts both ways as Colorado has been full of praise for his game, and Grigorenko told Russian media that he is determined to get a spot on the roster.

Overall, Grigorenko has played 68 career NHL games, scoring six goals and eight assists in that time. He just finished up a three-year entry-level contract at the league-maximum $925K with both performance and signing bonuses, according to General Fanager.

Earlier in the day the Avalanche announced a one-year contract for forward Andrew Agozzino and a two-year deal for defenseman Mat Clark.

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