At the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday night in Pittsburgh, the Buffalo Sabres selected Quebec Remparts forward Mikhail Grigorenko 12th overall. He would be the only Q player among the top 30 picks. The Russian was the only QMJHL player expected to be selected on the opening day of the draft. A lot had predicted him going around 12th overall.
Grigorenko recorded 40 goals and 45 assists in 59 regular season games in his first season with the Remparts. He struggled in the playoffs – and was suffering from mono – and only registered three goals and seven assists in 11 contests.
“Right or wrong, Grigorenko represents a gamble at this point in time for an NHL team with an early draft pick,” writes Ian Altenbaugh of HockeysFuture.com. “While there is a chance that his effort level may never match that of his talent, it is also possible that he could become one of the top scorers on an NHL squad in the very near future. In a business where the future employment of a team's primary decision makers may hang in the balance if such a high profile draft selection busts, it's easy to understand why some teams don't want to risk it.”
Rounds two three seven of the draft take place tomorrow and there will be several QMJHL players picked. Hockey’s Future has a list of the top 10 Q prospects available for this year’s draft.
Of note, Michael Matheson, whose committed to Boston College but whose QMJHL rights are held by the Moncton Wildcats, was selected by the Florida Panthers 23rd overall. Also, the New Jersey Devils' pick at No. 29, Stefan Matteau, will play for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada next year.
As expected, the Edmonton Oilers took forward Nail Yakupov first overall. Eight of the top 10 picks were defensemen.