Arctic Ice Hockey's First Annual NHL Mock Draft: Pick #2

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: A banner is displayed at the Xcel Energy Center before the start of day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hey all! Welcome to Arctic Ice Hockey's first annual NHL Mock Draft. Over the next thirty days, Ryan, Tim and myself will attempt to telepathically channel the minds of NHL General Managers as they complete their final rankings in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft being held June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

In some instances, our analysis will require less insight than others *cough* *Edmonton* *cough*.

So without further adieu, we present our loyal readers with the second overall pick of Arctic Ice Hockey's 2012 Mock Draft.

Scott Howson: With the second overall selection in this years draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets are pleased to select...


Mikhail Grigorenko

Centre / Quebec Remparts - QMJHL

6-3

May 16 1994
Hometown: Khabarovsk, Russia

Shoots: Left


GP G A P +/- PIM
2011-12 Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) 59 40 45 85 +35 12

Rankings: CSS (3 NA), ISS (4), TSN (20), Hockey Prospectus (2)

The Skinny: To be frank, a team like the Blue Jackets -- who accumulated only twenty-nine regular season wins -- have plenty of roster spots to fill. Having said that, Columbus does possess a glut of NHL defensemen (who currently amass 17MM in payroll), and are still desperately trying to develop John Moore (D) -- their first round pick from 2009 -- into the offensive pivot they mortgaged him to be. While Ryan Murray is believed to be the most NHL ready defenseman in this draft class, the Blue Jackets, like the Oilers, require immediate help. Their need for a top-six forward is compounded by the uncertain future of Rick Nash as a member of the team.

Hockey Prospectus:

Grigorenko is a very special kind of talent who scouts have been hearing about for many years. He absolutely burst onto the scene last year with a tremendous performance at the Under-18s. He's an exceptionally gifted player who can control the flow of a hockey game seemingly at will with elite puck skills, vision, offensive creativity, and overall hockey sense. He makes high level dekes seem effortless and is the kind of player who is able to slow the game down to his pace rather than try to keep up with it. His ability as a playmaker is really special as he is the classic "eyes in the back of his head" type of player who consistently makes high-level reads quickly and effectively. Grigorenko's hand skills allow him to keep the puck away from pursuers very well and when he's setting up in open ice, the chances of a defender being able to cleanly check him is low. When you combine his puck skills and sense, though, you get the combination of tools that allow him to make "unique" plays, that after they happen, you try to remember about the last time you saw a play similar to that. He is an above-average skater who industry sources have described with the kind of stride that looks like he's floating on the ice as he effortlessly picks up speed— especially for a bigger player. Grigorenko also has a pretty decent array of shots and is certainly an above-average finisher. He is an advanced two-way thinker who gets the job done at a decent level in his own end, and while he struggled with that aspect of his game earlier in the year, he was much better later on. He has above-average size, and while he doesn't really use his frame as much as he could, he's decent in the physical aspects of hockey as he boxes out fine along the wall and will win some battles. His work ethic draws issues at times but he's not an extremely lazy player, though he's not one who gives it 100% every shift. - Corey Pronman

AIH Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets
Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

Community Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)

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