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2012 NHL Draft Prospects: Mikhail Grigorenko

Russian center Mikhail Grigorenko figures to be one of the first prospects off the board in this weekend's NHL Draft, which kicks off Friday night at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. NHL.com ranks him third among North American skaters (he plays for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL), behind Nail Yakupov and Ryan Murray, and SB Nation's mock draft has him going at No. 3 overall to the Montreal Canadiens. However, there isn't much agreement about his status, and his stock appears to be slipping a bit. Sports Illustrated's latest mock has Grigorenko falling all the way to the Flames at No. 14.

There's a lot to like about him, including his size, scoring ability, speed, creativity, so why the drop? When you find a scout willing to offer up a comparable player, they name guys like Alexei Yashin and Olli Jokinen: good players, the kind that put up some solid numbers but aren't thought of as guys you win with. Add in concerns (fair or not) that Grigorenko might pull a Nikita Filatov and bolt to the KHL if things get rough, and you can see why he drops.

We'll see where Grigorenko ends up going Friday night. In the meantime, check out The Cannon's draft profile of him.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.