As announced by the Calgary Flames and according to their training camp roster, Mikhail Grigoriev has inked a PTO with the team.
Grigoriev, 25, never enjoyed much international exposure, playing with Team Russia in only a couple of European tournaments. However, his solid play in the KHL didn’t go unnoticed, as he is now on a try-out contract with an NHL team, something that was rumored within the Russian media since last spring.
A native of Tyumen, Russia, Grigoriev is a defenseman who plays bigger than his size (5’9″, 180 lbs.), and who mostly relies on his good offensive abilities. Grigoriev has a strong shot from the point with a relatively fast release and has a good eye for passing. He likes to play physical, however, because of his size, it will be different for him in North America. He also had some fights back at home, but it’s unlikely he will drop the gloves during his new adventure, as you can see from the video below:
Grigoriev has a difficult road to make it to the NHL, mostly due to his size and his limited defensive game. In particular, his defensive play is sometimes far from ideal, and sometimes he may fall out of position while he is looking for a big hit. But, he can start in the AHL in order to gain experience and then see what happens after a couple of months spent adapting.
The Flames made a low-risk move with Grigoriev, and his signing will guarantee some depth, at least on their AHL roster. However, the defenseman didn’t have the best season last year with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, where he scored only one goal.
Flames’ training camp will start on Thursday, Sept. 22, with the first action taking place on Friday, Sept. 23 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso