Pittsburgh (WBEN) -- The Sabres using the 12th pick to select Mikhail Grigorenko and the 14th pick to choose Zemgus Girgensons in Friday night's 1st round of the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.
Grigorenko is a center from Russia, currently playing for the Quebec Remparts. Girgensons is a center currently playing for Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL.
Besides the 12th pick, the Sabres originally had the 21st pick, but not long after making their first selection on the night, the Sabres pulled off a draft-pick trade with Calgary for the 14th selection.
Buffalo gave up the 21st overall and 42nd overall picks to acquire the 14th overall selection from the Flames.
Details on Grigorenko from the website of the NHL:
• In his first season with the Quebec Remparts, he led all Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rookies with 45 goals and 85 points (40-45--85) and finished third in the league with eight game-winning goals.
• Grigorenko represented Russia at the 2012 World Junior Championships, recording five points (2-3--5) in six games, helping Russia capture a silver medal. As a member of Team Russia at the 2011 World Under-18 Championships, he led his team to a bronze medal, leading the tournament with 14 assists (4-14--18) in seven games. He also represented Russia at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he scored ten points (6-4--10) in six games and was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
• In 2010-11, Grigorenko collected 35 points (17-18--35) in 43 games while playing for CSKA-2 where he competed against players as old as 22. He was selected second overall in the 2011 CHL Import Draft -- the Remparts traded up twice to secure him.
• Grigorenko first began playing hockey at age five and in the beginning he didn’t enjoy it because “he wasn’t very good”. His brother, Yuri, also played hockey, competing in Russia and Belarus from 2001 to 2006.
And from NHL Central Scouting's David Gregory
“He's the type of player that controls the whole pace of the game. He can play with the puck at the same pace he plays without the puck. He sees the ice and opportunities really well. He can hang onto it longer than most players; some players might feel that they have to move it quickly, but Mikhail has the patience and the ability to see opportunities and let them develop, which is a special skill. He's got a big, long reach and an ability to move in traffic with his size (6-foot-3.25, 200). He's the kind of forward who will control the play and make things happen."
Details on Girgensons from NHL.com
• He led the Dubuque Fighting Saints in scoring this season registering 55 points (24-31--55) in 49 games. His six game-winning goals were tied for fourth in the United States Hockey League.
• Girgensons has committed to the University of Vermont for the fall of 2012.
• In 2010-11, he finished third overall on Dubuque with 49 points (21-28--49) in 51 games and was selected to the mid-season Western Conference All-Stars. He had eight points (3-5--8) over 11 games in the playoffs helping Dubuque capture the 2010-11 USHL Championship.
• Girgensons represented Latvia at the 2012 World Junior Championship and the 2010 World Under-18 Championship.
• His first introduction to the North American game was in 2008 through the Selects summer hockey program. In 2009-10, he played for Vermont’s Green Mountain Glades in the Eastern Junior Hockey League.
And from the same website -- an assessment from NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee:
"He plays right on the edge, plays an aggressive, physical game. He's played with injuries and has a lot of internal toughness. He's got a great set of hands and is a team guy. I think the higher level he goes, the more he stands out, the more he puts people on the edge of their seats because he can score and finish."