The Sabres made a splash over the weekend by drafting Mikhail Grigorenko with their 12th overall pick. Experts across the country talked about the Sabres' risky pick.
Sabres Director of Scouting Kevin Devine on riskiness of drafting Grigorenko;
"When we found out that Grigorenko might be available and he's fit the bill for everything that we're looking for in a player, we really did our due diligence on him. The fact that he came over to play in Quebec, he couldn't speak a word of english before he got there, three hours a week learning english to play over here and we caught up with his agent. We did a lot of due diligence on him. We figured for what we were getting, it was worth the risk."
Hear Kevin Devine on The Howard Simon Show here:
Devine on the possibility of Grigorenko making the Sabres this year;
"I think that's a possibility. He has the skill set. I still think he needs to get stronger and we'll give him every chance I think to show what he can do. If in the long run he goes back to Quebec, it's a win-win because he has a great coach back there in Patrick Roy and they're going to have a very good team this year. They should be Memorial Cup contenders. If Mikhail plays up to his potential, he has a real good chance to play on our team."
Kris Baker on what Grigorenko provides the Sabres;
"They haven't a center like this in the system for a while. Real big kid, see's the ice extremely well , excellent offensive instincts. If you think about having Vanek here for just a couple more years, getting this kid up and surrounding him with good players and getting him some confidence really early is something they'll definitely look to do."
Hear Kris Baker on The Howard Simon Show here:
TSN Analyst Craig Button on Grigorenko falling to the Sabres;
"I'm not surprised he fell to 12. I think based on what Mikhail's talent is and what he projects as, I think that was the range for him to be in. He might have gone a little bit higher, perhaps a little lower.........To me, the Buffalo Sabres drafting Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, I just really think it sets a strong fit for both team and player.
"Grigorenko is already a man in terms of size and has the skill and play making ability to make an impact. He needs to learn to play hard on a more consistent basis, and being around NHL players in Buffalo will assist him in that development."
"Because he's ridiculously gifted. His size, 6-2 and 185 pounds, is balanced by incredible puck-handling stills that allow him to create spectacular offensive chances. He's got the vision thing of an elite play maker — taking chances yet finding an open man. Great hands, smooth skater and a player that's gotten much better in the defensive end. All told, perhaps the most talented player in the draft …"
Scouts have also made comments regarding the Sabres 14th overall pick Zemgus Girgensons.
Devine on the big center's tenacity:
"He's got all the tools, he's a real gritty center, a guy who would go through the wall for you and has some good skill too."
"With Girgensons, the Sabres nabbed a well-rounded center with high character who plays the game hard. He'll hound the puck. He'll slide to block a shot. He'll stand in the crease and push back after the whistle. Simply put, the 6'2, 198-pounder is a natural leader who goes in a straight line with a bit of a chip on his shoulder."