If you’re favorite team’s offseason moves have left you absolutely puzzled, it’s never too early to look ahead to the 2012 draft class. It appears as though this would be the year to tank. The upcoming year is loaded with top end European talent. Russians Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko join future Czech star Martin Frk as top flight European players.
Fellow country-man Mikhail Grigorenko may give Yakupov quite the challenge for that top spot in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Standing at a powerful 6’ 3” he has incredible physical gifts. Drafted in the CHL import draft this year by the Québec Remparts, scouts will likely get a better chance to see him play.
Grigorenko may be the next great power-forward. He has absolutely dominated at the International level, scoring over two and half points per game in the U-18 World Juniors. He was drafted 8th overall in the 2011 KHL Entry Draft, but concerns of him coming over should be dispelled by him coming over to player in Canada this year.
Alessandro Seren Rosso translated an interview with Grigorenko in January. North American fans of the player will hope his tune has changed since this interview when he said, “I haven’t really thought about the NHL yet. My main thought for now is to get into a MHL team and then to the KHL. I’m thinking about this only.”
With the strong European contingent of forwards this year, it will be interesting to see who rises to the top. All three of the aforementioned players may make a case for the top spot a year from now. The draft also possesses a strong group of defenseman who may challenge for a top spot.
This year, more than last year, if a team gets off to a slow start there will certainly be a light at the end of the tunnel.