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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
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:

80 GP
13 G
48 PTS

Here's a tribute video for #84: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvb_F9mBpzE
Filed Under:   Grabovski   Leafs   Fletcher   hockey  
September 8, 2008 9:48 PM ET | Delete
Good read as always, 48 points is possible if he gets enough playing time
September 8, 2008 9:52 PM ET | Delete
Fair anaylsis , you got him pretty much covered. I liked Grabovski when he was with us but bc of our depth he never really had a chance. best of luck in T.O though to him.
September 9, 2008 12:07 AM ET | Delete
great blog man. I hope he turns into that 2nd line centre Wellwood never was.
September 9, 2008 12:27 AM ET | Delete
He will be the #1 center barring a sundin return, that being said he is a diver, will not go into the corners and is worse than samsonov in his own end. If his linemates learn to cover for him and feed him on the breakout he could be in the 60-70 point range, he is very slick has an underatted shot and is one of the fastest skaters in the league. However if that happens he is one game against philly away from being injured for the season.
September 9, 2008 7:07 AM ET | Delete
If that guy gets bigger and learns to skate with his head up, he'll be a dangerous scoring treath.
September 9, 2008 9:56 AM ET | Delete
Hey Ron... One thing about Grabovski... He's definitely with the right team because he falls like a Leaf everytime anyone touches him!!!
September 9, 2008 5:27 PM ET | Delete
I'm willing to give the guy a chance, but I think its wasted draft picks personally. ....McPhees: Antropov, Steen and Stajan are all better centres, although #84 has the most offensive talent of any of them.
September 9, 2008 7:56 PM ET | Delete
to everyone thinking grabovski is NHL caliber, you NEVER saw him play obviously, he'll lose every 1on1 battles hes up, won't go in the corners , has an awful vision, and a garbage attitude... lol @ the guys thinking they'll get 60-70 points out of him.
September 9, 2008 9:24 PM ET | Delete
happy to see that the last to comment save the honnor! Grabovski play 24 game in montreal for a average playing time of 11 minutes... ok that mean that he spent 132 minutes on his ass... that guy is just too small... a good third liner... maybe, one day...
September 10, 2008 1:18 PM ET | Delete
He's too good to be a third liner, but he's too small/weak to be an effective top 2 center. I think he'll do ok in Toronto simply because he'll get icetime and will have more responsibility. But I don't think he's any kind of long term solution for the Leafs. But you gotta give it to him, he goes in heavy traffic areas, something that some bigger players won't do. His heart is not in question....
September 12, 2008 3:21 AM ET | Delete
September 12, 2008 3:28 AM ET | Delete
Good read and a fair assessment. Just a comment on the statement: 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 - After reviewing the posts here I really think people are forgetting he is "24" years old. He's not to old to learn to play better hockey and has above average offensive skills and skates like the wind. Also consider if he doesn't follow commander Wilson's defensive first mentality he won't last long here. IMO he's a good risk for a second round pick.
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