Mikhail Olegovich Grigorenko (Russian: Михаил Олегович Григоренко; born 16 May 1994) is a Russian professional ice hockey forward who is currently playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Grigorenko with the Buffalo Sabres in 2013
16 May 1994|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)|
Columbus Blue Jackets|
12th overall, 2012|
Born and raised in Russia, Grigorenko moved to North America in 2011 and joined the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). After one season in Quebec, he was selected in the first round, 12th overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Grigorenko was also selected by CSKA Moscow in the first round, eighth overall, of the 2011 KHL Junior Draft. He has previously played in the NHL with the Sabres and the Colorado Avalanche.
Grigorenko first played competitive junior hockey in his native Russia with Krasnaya Armiya in the MHL, the junior team to CSKA Moscow. In the 2010–11 season, as a 16-year old, Grigorenko impressively showed an early offensive touch, contributing 17 goals and 35 points in 43 games.
In June 2011, Grigorenko was selected second overall in the CHL Import Draft by the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Hockey Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Remparts, liked Grigorenko so much he traded up in the Import Draft to select him.
Grigorenko played 59 games with the Remparts during the 2011–12 season, his first in North America, and scored 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points. He led all rookie players in the QMJHL in goals and points, and was second for assists to capture the Michel Bergeron Trophy. He also finished fifth overall in goals scored and was tied for eighth overall for points while playing the fewest games of any player who was in the top ten in points. Earning selection to the All-Rookie and First All-Star Teams, on 20 March 2012, Grigorenko was also nominated and chosen as the top professional prospect to play in the QMJHL during 2011–12 with the Mike Bossy Trophy.
As a top-rated forward prospect for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Grigorenko was selected in the first round, 12th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres. On 18 July 2012, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres. With the 2012–13 NHL lockout delaying the beginning of the NHL season, Grigorenko was reassigned to start the season back with the Remparts, where he played 32 games and recorded 50 points during the season prior to the lockout ending in January. At the time, he was leading the Remparts and was fifth in the QMJHL with 29 goals, and his 50 points were second on the team.
When the lockout ended in January, Grigorenko was invited to the Sabres' training camp, where he made the roster for the start of the season. After playing five games with the Sabres, the team opted to keep Grigorenko for the remainder of the season rather than send him back to the Remparts; had they done so, the season would not have counted as one year expired on his entry-level contract. On 29 January, Grigorenko scored his first career NHL goal, against James Reimer of the Toronto Maple Leafs, becoming the fifth-youngest Sabre to score in franchise history.
After 22 games with the Sabres, where he recorded one goal and four assists, Grigorenko was reassigned to the Remparts on 15 March 2013. Grigorenko went on to lead the Remparts in playoff scoring with 14 points in 11 games before being recalled by the Sabres on 16 April.
Grigorenko began the 2013–14 season with the Sabres. However, with the Sabres cleaning out the front office and coaching staff, and with an imperative to rely less on the youth from new head coach Ted Nolan, he was returned to junior after sporadically appearing in just 18 games on 11 January 2014. He reported to the Remparts several days later after initially refusing to do so. In his final junior season with the Remparts, Grigorenko dominated in his 23 appearances, collecting 15 goals and 39 points in the regular season. With an early post-season exit, Grigorenko was then assigned to Buffalo's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans, to play out the remainder of the year.
In his first full professional year, Grigorenko split the 2014–15 season, between the Sabres and Rochester. Beginning the year with the Sabres, Grigorenko would be shuffled between the NHL and AHL on five separate occasions. In 43 games with the Americans, Grigorenko continued to show his offensive promise in posting 14 goals and 36 points. He returned to complete the season with the Sabres, scoring 6 points in 25 games.
On 26 June 2015, at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, as an impending restricted free agent, Grigorenko was traded by the Sabres in a package that included Nikita Zadorov, J. T. Compher and the 31st pick in the draft to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn. Grigorenko then signed to an initial one-year, one-way contract with the Avalanche on 17 July.
Grigorenko's arrival in Colorado marked a reunion with former junior coach and then head coach of the Avalanche, Patrick Roy. He made the Avalanche roster after his first training camp, opening the 2015–16 season. After being a healthy scratch for three games, Grigorenko made his Avalanche debut centering the fourth line, collecting an assist on a Jack Skille goal in a 3–0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on 16 October 2015. He continued with fourth-line duties until injury gave him an opportunity in a top-six scoring role. Grigorenko responded in recording his first goal for the Avalanche in a three-point night against the Montreal Canadiens on 14 November 2017. He compiled seven points in six contests on an East Coast road trip before he was returned to the fourth line. Grigorenko later secured a role on a scoring line through the midpoint of the year to play his first full season in the NHL, recording a career-high 6 goals and 27 points in 74 games.
In the off-season, as a restricted free agent, Grigorenko originally filed for arbitration. However, ahead of his scheduled meeting, he agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Avalanche on 21 July 2016. With the surprise departure of head coach Patrick Roy, Grigorenko initially impressed incoming head coach Jared Bednar, leading the Avalanche in pre-season scoring. However, in the 2016–17 season, he was unable to maintain his offensive production as a consistent scoring threat. While lacking the physicality for a lower depth role, Grigorenko (mainly playing on the wing) collected 10 goals for 23 points in 75 games for the cellar-dwelling Avalanche.
On 26 June 2017, Grigorenko was not tendered a qualifying contract by the Avalanche and became an unrestricted free agent.
As a free agent, Grigorenko garnered NHL interest however opted to return to Russia in agreeing to a three-year contract with his original junior club and a KHL powerhouse, CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), on 3 July 2017.
In the second year of his contract with CSKA in the 2018–19 season, Grigorenko improved upon his previous seasons totals, in leading the club in scoring with 17 goals and 35 assists for 52 points in 55 regular season games. In the playoffs, Grigorenko continued to lead CSKA's offense, helping return the club to the Gagarin Cup finals, selected as the finals best forward in helping CSKA claim their first Championship in the KHL by scoring 6 points in the four-game series sweep against Avangard Omsk. He scored in three games and recorded the first-ever Gagarin Cup finals’ hat-trick (in the first game of the series, including the game-winning goal).
Columbus Blue JacketsEdit
On April 20, 2020, Grigorenko planned a return to the NHL, signing a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, the NHL rejected the contract, stating that it must be refiled on the first day of free agency for the 2020–21 season. On July 13, 2020, Grigorenko was officially signed by the Blue Jackets.
Olympic Athletes from Russia
|World Junior Championships|
|IIHF World U18 Championships|
Grigorenko first represented Russia as a 15-year old at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament where Russia finished second. In an extensive international junior career with Russia, Grigorenko helped Russia to collect three successive medals at the World Junior Championships, with a silver medal in Canada in 2012 followed by two bronze medals in his native Russia in 2013 and Sweden in 2014.
In his first season of his return to Russia professionally, Grigorenko was selected and played as a member of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team at the 2018 Winter Olympics. He recorded one goal and four points in six games to help claim the gold medal in an overtime victory over Germany.
Grigorenko was born in Khabarovsk, located in the Russian Far East near the border of China. His older brother, Yuri, also played hockey, and spent five seasons in the minor leagues of both Russia and Belarus.
In 2011, after being selected by the Remparts in the CHL Import Draft, Grigorenko moved to Quebec City with his mother and Yuri. While he initially did not understand English, Grigorenko took classes five days a week with a Russian teacher and by the end of the season he was able to conduct interviews in English without the aid of a translator.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2020–21||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||32||4||8||12||6||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honoursEdit
|CHL Top Prospects Game||2012|
|Rookie of the Year||2012|||
|CHL Rookie of the Year||2012|
|Mike Bossy Trophy||2012|||
|Michel Bergeron Trophy||2012|
|First All-Star Team||2012|||
|Gagarin Cup (CSKA Moscow)||2019|||
- "2011 KHL Draft". Eliteprospects.com. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "CHL Import Draft Results". leaguestat.com. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Kimmelman, Adam (19 March 2012). "Seamless transition to North America for Grigorenko". NHL.com. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Draft prospect Grigorenko up for QMJHL most valuable player award". Winnipeg Free Press. The Canadian Press. 20 March 2012. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
- "Sabres sign Grigorenko to entry-level contract". Buffalo Sabres. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- NHL.com (7 January 2013). "Roy says Grigorenko will attend Sabres camp". NHL.com. Archived from the original on 8 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Battaglino, Mike (18 January 2013). "Grigorenko, Kovalev make opening-night rosters". NHL.com. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Zwolinski, Mark (29 January 2013). "Buffalo Sabres keep teenager Mikhail Grigorenko". Toronto Star. Toronto. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Ryndak, Christ (29 January 2013). "Leafs beat clock and Sabres, 4–3". NHL.com. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- NHL.com (15 March 2013). "Sabres return top pick Grigorenko to junior team". NHL.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Sabres recall Mikhail Grigorenko". The Globe and Mail. 16 April 2013. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Sabres Grigorenko in NHL, Junior limbo". Niagara Falls Review. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
- Peters, Chris (11 January 2014). "Sabres send Mikhail Grigorenko back to junior for second straight year". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "Chad Johnson not happy with how TSN interview unfolded". Niagara Falls Review. 3 March 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Avalanche trade O'Reilly to Sabres". The Sports Network. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "Avalanche sign Mikhail Grigorenko". Colorado Avalanche. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "Berra pitches perfect game". Colorado Avalanche. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Avalanche end of season evaluations: Mikhail Grigorenko". Denver Post. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "Mikhail agrees to contract with Colorado Avalanche". National Hockey League. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "Grigorenko taking advantage of his opportunity". Colorado Avalanche. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Avalanche part ways with Mikahil Girgorenko, Siemens given qualifying offer". BSNDenver.com. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "Mikhail Grigorenko returned to CSKA" (in Russian). CSKA Moscow. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "Finals finest: Sorokin, Robinson and Grigorenko". Kontinental Hockey League. 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- Hedger, Brian. "Blue Jackets' signing of Mikhail Grigorenko on hold after NHL rejects the deal". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
- Dan Milstein-Hockey (13 July 2020). "Mikhail Grigorenko officially signs". Twitter. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
- "Mooseheads hardware hopefuls fall short at awards". metronews.ca. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "Grigorenko, McCabe among Sabres prospects expected to have big 2012-13". hockeysfuture.com. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "CSKA lifts the Gagarin Cup". Kontinental Hockey League. 19 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
| Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick
| Winner of the CHL Rookie of the Year Award