8/25 Recap: Grigo groovin' early

In Saturday action, Mikhail Grigorenko scored a goal and an assist as Quebec closed their exhibition slate with a 5-2 win over Shawinigan. The big pivot, who earlier set-up an Anthony Duclair ('13) goal for the second straight game, scored with the man advantage 7:24 into the third period to give the Remparts a 5-1 lead.

The 6'3 center scored five points (2+3) in the two weekend wins over the Cataractes, and with a deep group surrounding him, looks set for an "off the charts" statistical year if he remains in the QMJHL for the entire season. Along with Duclair, a potential top-10 draft prospect and linemate of Grigorenko, the Remparts boast a deep group of 2013 eligible forwards including Nick Sorensen, Adam Erne, and Brandon Shea. All could be picked among the top-50.

And then there's Nikita Kucherov, a second round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning and good friend of Grigorenko's who was selected by Quebec in the CHL Import Draft. He has committed to play this season as either a linemate of or replacement for Grigorenko. The former seems more realistic given the NHL CBA chatter, and is just another factor in what could be a dominating year for the Sabres' top gun.

What happens with Grigorenko at Sabres camp impacts Sorensen as well, as the Danish-born forward would likely need to be shipped out since CHL teams can only carry two non-North American players.

The Traverse City cancellation seems to be a signal that Grigorenko won't be in Buffalo anytime soon, so expect him to be in the lineup when the Remparts open the regular season Friday, September 21st against Chicoutimi.
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