When the Colorado Avalanche traded Ryan O’Reilly to the Buffalo Sabres, it’s become clear as to why Mikhail Grigorenko was targeted as one of the main pieces coming back.
The kid from Khabarovsk, Russia oozes talent, and before long we could be calling him “The Great Grigorenko”(or something like that, you get the idea).
Grigor did not start the season off very well, but he wasn’t out-of-place either. He was stuck centering the 4th line until just recently.
Grigorenko has climbed the lineup with hard work and impressive showings alongside Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, and now is inked into the top group of forwards.
Patrick Roy has let his old junior star grow more comfortable with his new surroundings as the season has gone along. Now Roy finally trusts the young Russian to contribute on a regular basis, like everyone knows he can.
He’s not disappointed in any way. “The Great Grigorenko” sounds like a magicians name, which is fitting because he does pull off some amazing moves along with plenty of tricks up his sleeve.
All he needed was a change of scenery.
With the Sabres, over a course of three years and 68 games, Grigorenko only totaled 14 points. Now in his first stint with Colorado, he already has surpassed that with 17 points in 51 games.
Nothing earth shattering obviously, but it is somewhat telling. With his recently assigned top-six role and high level of skill, his numbers will no doubt increase.
Grigorenko has always played at an extremely high level. Dominating games for Russia, as well as in the QMJHL with Roy and the Quebec Remparts. There’s every reason to believe he does it for Colorado also.
I had a very good feeling when the Avs acquired Grigorenko in the trade, knowing he has the potential to be much better offensively than O’Reilly. Remember this guy is only 21 years old. He is starting to show his talent off now, and it’s a joy to watch.
He is extremely poised with the puck, possesses and passes it very well, has high hockey intelligence, along with the big frame he’s still growing into. There’s a lot to be excited about with Grigorenko.
If Grigor can keep up his recent pace and piece it all together, he’ll be a key cog in a great group of young talented forwards for the Avalanche moving forward.
He’s been displaying his slick moves much more often now that he’s seeing increased ice-time. Watch these videos below and look forward to the future with a smile Avs fans.
The two videos above show off his poise, stick handling, and passing ability. The video below shows his tenacity around the net and a nice scoring touch.
– Hope you enjoyed the read, you can follow me on Twitter @SebastianHNoble –
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble