Mikhail Grigorenko To Rochester Sam Reinhart Staying


The Buffalo Sabres have made a major move regarding their 2nd overall pick from the 2014 NHL draft in Sam Reinhart and a big one involving one of their first rounders from 2012. While their moves today may come as a shock to most, if you follow whats going down in Buffalo they were kind of expected.

After a very solid and impressive training camp in which many believed Mikhail Grigorenko improved his game, the Sabres demoted one of their top prospects to the American Hockey League for the first time. Once again, you might not understand how big this is for the Sabres, but they could finally, yes finally, send Grigorenko to the AHL for some much needed development.

Sabres have been trying to send him there for the last 2 seasons in different ways but because of the CHL and NHL age agreement he was not eligible to play. The fact he wasn’t able to get much AHL time slowed down his development and put the Sabres in a tough spot with him. Now he can finally play in the AHL and gain that valuable development he was missing that helped Zemgus Girgensons.

While Grigorenko did impress in training camp and arguably earned a spot on the Sabres right out of camp, the move provides the Sabres some options with other prospects such as Sam Reinhart. As with most first round picks, the NHL team remains undecided after training camp and pre-season and needs to see a few regular season games before making a final decision.

The Sabres have decided to keep Sam Reinhart around for at least the first 9 regular-season games this season. Hopefully they are more careful with Reinhart, unlike what happened with Grigorenko, and they don’t burn a year off his entry-level deal in a year when he really doesn’t need to be in the NHL on a losing team.

If you’re following the Sabres narrative there is a strong chance that in roughly a month, or as soon as the 9 game audition is over, Grigorenko will get the call-up and Reinhart will get the yellow slip back to junior to fine tune his craft a little more.

While the demotion for Grigorenko may not be what fans wanted, they should take comfort in knowing he is closer than ever to being an NHL regular and his stint to the AHL will only help. They can also be excited that they will see Reinhart in some NHL action this season.