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Grigorenko hopes to excel with Amerks, show Sabres he'll be ready for NHL

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko joined the Amerks for practice today and will play Wednesday when Rochester hosts Syracuse. He played two playoff games for the Amerks last season.

“This year is going to be better for me than last year because I have two, three weeks to be more part of the team,” he said in Rochester. “I really have a chance to help the guys.”

The Amerks could use the assistance. They are 0-7-2 in their last nine and have fallen out of a playoff spot. They have nine games left.

“Hopefully, it’ll be a good jumpstart for us,” Amerks coach Chadd Cassidy said. “Obviously, he brings in a lot of offensive ability. We’ve had a hard time scoring goals, and every little bit helps.”

Grigorenko started this season with the Sabres but was sent to his junior team in Quebec shortly after Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine took over in November. The 19-year-old views this as an audition for the coach and General Manager Tim Murray.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for me,” Grigorenko said. “I’ll do my best and show the new general manager and Ted Nolan that I can step to the NHL next year.”

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