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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"All HAIL for Mikhail"

Mikhail Grigorenko has been touted by many scouts, coaches and former players alike, to be a great player in the making. Even before his decision to come over to play for the Quebec Remparts in the CHL, Mikhail was considered one of the best in the world in his age group.

While few people even knew much of him (including few in the Mainstream media) I had the luck to notice the player while he was still 15 years old playing in the MHL. Originally, it was thought he had no interest in playing in the NHL, however it is sometimes funny how things get lost in the interpretation of languages. Mikhail is a honest, humble guy and not a player who will complain regardless of the role he is asked to play. Recently during the World Jr. Championships, he was asked to play a third line role, and did so well in the games he played. He still put up some points, but he was given the role of defensive checking center and flourished at it. Even with a injury, Mikhail pushed things to get back in the line up as soon as it was possible.

While disappointed in their overtime loss to Sweden, Mikhail still was able to show the world, he is not only a offensive player but he does have defensive abilities as well. The Remparts coach and legend, Patrick Roy and his coaching staff have been working with Grigorenko to develop his all around game. He also plays on a team with several smaller but quick and offensive players who will occasionally need that defensive center support. Even with that, Mikhail still continues to continue scoring a point or more every game regardless of the team they play.

Recently, there have been reports out there that are saying Mikhail Grigorenko is not a player who plays with passion, he is sometimes lazy and takes a night off. Some scouts are trying to tell us, he is only excelling offensively against the weaker teams and does not rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.

I don't agree with these reports and actually believe they are more biased to either a different type player or even a league (i.e.: WHL or OHL vs QJMHL). TSN posted a article recently saying one team scout went as far as saying he would not even pick him top 10 and he could fall to the 25 slot in the 2012 NHL Entry Level Draft. What? Is this guy smoking something? 25? Myself, when a scout talks like this, everything else he says, i take with a grain of salt. OK, maybe he does drop a few, but to 25? This is someone to me who lacks hockey common sense. Some scouts see him play once and then comment he played a ok game so leave unimpressed. Got news for those scouts, some scouts have been only at 1 or 2 games that Sarnia Stings Nail Yakupov played and left thinking his defensive game lacked big time and said they believe he won't be able to dominate as a power forward with the big boys of the NHL. It's all perspective and that's how you need to look at things.

At 6'2-6'3 and getting close to 200 lbs Mikhail is a big center and with that, comes a different skating style. While he does not possess the speed of Yakupov, he is very quick and agile for a player his size. Interesting enough, the Great Mario was even considered a slow skater and had low work ethic. Try telling that to Mario's coaches and players who played him and they will tell you, your crazy. Grigorenko will do just fine. Maybe he does not go in the top 2, maybe he falls to 3 or 4 but mark my words, any team passing on him will be regretting they did.

Truth is, Mikhail will need to show his playoff game with better performance should he convince his greatest critics stating he is a player who shows apathy on the ice. Perform at the highest levels of hockey, you will turn heads pretty quick.


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  1. The scout didn't say he would drop to 25, he said they would not draft him with the 25th pick if he were to be there still. In other words, they would not use their first round pick on him...

  2. I'm liking Galchenyuk, maybe Forsberg.

  3. My apolagy for taking his exact words out of context, it was a early post :)

    However my point is, a scout who talks in extremes , I give little attention to. His words per TSN website were...

    ( "He could fall right off the map," said one scout who asserted that his club won't be considering him in the first round."He doesn't want to compete. If he's there at 25 and we are picking, we go by him." His concerns were echoed by another eastern conference scout who insisted his team will not select the talented Russian no matter where they end up in the standings. "He's a dog.." )

    Thats talking out of your backside if your asking me. Those scouts speaking are too emotional IMO. If they DIDNT pick him at 25 and he was there for whatever reason, the fan base would eat them up. Not to mention I am certain they would lose their job. Of course IF he were to fall that low, there would be reasons for it and we all know, he WILL NOT fall that low. Even with a bad playoff Mikhail will not fall from the top 5.

    All the top draft insiders including Bob Mckenzie like this guy and will even tell you about his new work ethic this year in addition to a attention to his 200 foot game. I think what bothers me with the report from these UNKNOWN sources is the extreme in which they talk. I can go to any local school playground and hear that kind of talk.

    If you don't like the guy, fine, but don't say things like "He's a Dog".... shows imaturity IMO. I have spoken now with around 5 scouts from the east in addition to around a dozen fans who live in Quebec and don't get those extremes either. He will go top 3 come June, at the NHL Entry draft.

  4. Hey Jay,
    Yeah , I like Galchenyuk as well. His recovery from surgery will be a key to how high he is drafted. He could potentially go as high as 2 but could drop to 8 as well. Teams will be watching closely I am sure.

    As far as Forsberg, this guy scares me a lot. His point totals playing with men in sweden is even lower then what Paajarvi put up and is not a bigger player, just hits and plays a physical game. Picking his 8th on, I would be fine, but before would be missing out on top offensive players who are big as well or top d-men who the Oilers need as well.

  5. Like to read this comment from outsider (of the Q)! I'm a season ticket holder at the Remparts since 2000 and you are 100% right. Grigorenko is the best player i saw in the last 12 years at le Colisée. He didn't play great the last week and alot of specilaists from Montréal are all at him and sometime, it's sounds like racism: Mathias Brunet from La Presse this morning post a comment saying that is a lazy Russian player... he saw him once... last friday in Drummondville where's the Remparts played there worst game this year!

    Sincerly, i hate the Habs and hope that Grigorenko will not land in MTL. And if the Oilers have the choice beetween Dumba and's like having the choice beetwen Stamkos and Steeve Downie!!? Grigorenko is a playmaker... a player that will make you go to the rink to watch him. Sincerly hope thet he will be pick by the Oilers!

  6. Thanks for some comments of someone who see's 'Big Mikhail' live at 'le colisee'. I agree, it's no choice in who the Oilers should pick between Mikhail or a defence men, but many Oiler fans are dying for a top end defencemen.

    Recently thought I would post something Grigorenko said..
    "When I was in Russia last year I couldn't play my zone, but now I'm not bad," he says. "My faceoffs have improved as well."
    When asked what he wanted to prove over last part of the season Mikhail replied.."I want to prove first of all that my play in my zone is strong. I think at first this season I did not do that so well so as I get closer to the draft I want to do it better and better."
    Mikhail was also asked in a interview who in the NHL does he watch and think he should try to emulate? His reply was...."I think Evgeni Malkin..."

    I have seen enough to officially say my VOTE is on 'The BIG MiKhAiL!"


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