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January 10, 2013 | 11:40am ET
Ruff excited to see rookie Grigorenko

Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff can't wait to get a look at what the team's latest first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko can bring to the table, reports the Buffalo News.

With a 48-game schedule set to begin Jan. 19, the Sabres could use the extra fire power that Grigorenko has the potentially of bringing to the team.

"I think everyone is intrigued," Ruff told the News. "He's had an elite year at junior. He's got very good hands, is a very good playmaker. Now you take that to a level where you're going to play against even stronger competition, bigger bodies, guys that are heavier on the puck, that compete at a stronger level."

The Sabres have a hole up the middle and the paper suggests Grigorenko could fill the void at the center position.

Grigorenko, 18, could play a maximum of five NHL games before the first-year of his three-year, entry-level contract kicks in. In a normal 82-game season, junior players are allowed up to nine games to prove their worth.

"I think he'll be able to make plays," Ruff said. "I'm intrigued to see what he can do against and with top NHL players."

Ruff suggested Grigorenko could play on a line with stars Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville in practice, but that job during the season belongs to Cody Hodgson.

Grigorenko could play with Ville Leino and Matt Ellis if he makes the squad out of the gate.

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