While Fletcher has made some questionable trades this off-season, the addition of Grabovski to the Leafs' line-up is an intriguing one - one that is going to cost Toronto a 2nd round selection in 2010.
Grabovski is a bit of an unknown commodity. Having just 27 games of experience in his NHL career, (played 24 last season) he has shown strong offensive potential considering he's been caught behind so many players on the Habs' depth chart. The Belarusian was a victim of the numbers game, only averaging 11 minutes and 12 seconds of ice-time last season -- he also registered a feeble 26 seconds per game on the PP. With that said, he garnered 3 goals and 9 points in the 24 games played.
At 24 years of age, Grabovski is still considered a rookie by NHL standards (25 games or over in one season classifies a rookie season) and could potentially surprise a lot of people. He turned some heads with his impressive AHL performance, scoring a total of 25 goals and 74 points in 78 career AHL games.
In Grabovski, the Leafs own an incredibly fast skater. He's not afraid to skate through traffic, but he does have trouble staying on his feet when there's physical play involved. Possessing strong puck handling abilities, Grabovski is effective 1-on-1 and is imaginative with the puck. While he knows his way to the back of the net, he's primarily known as a playmaker, having the skill to perform tape-to-tape passes with his remarkable vision of the ice.
Many are under the belief that he's a one-dimensional player, but Grabovski is fairly decent in his own end. He often returns to help out in his own zone and at times is even deeper in the defensive zone than some of the defensemen. His 5'11, 180 pound frame limits him when digging in the corners, but he works hard to harass the opposition.
When looking at the Leafs' line-up, it's possible that Grabovski may start the season on the third-line, but his talent suggests he can overtake the #2 center position if he finds some chemistry with his linemates (Nikolai Kulemin perhaps?)
Leafs fans are not expecting a ton from him, so if he produces somewhere in the 40-point vicinity it will be deemed a successful season. With increased ice-time and more responsibility on the PP he could potentially score over 50+ points. Anything is possible.
My projection for Grabovski:
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