The Buffalo Sabres have assigned rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko to his former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team.
Grigorenko's demotion to the Quebec Remparts, announced Friday, is a significant setback for the team and player, who was selected 12th overall in the NHL draft last June. The Sabres elected to keep the 18-year-old on their roster after five games this season, a decision that meant Grigorenko could begin collecting the first year of his three-year contract.
Grigorenko has one goal and four assists in 22 games.
Buffalo had to free up roster spots to welcome back forward Ville Leino, who's missed 27 games with a hip injury. Forward Patrick Kaleta is set to return for Buffalo's game at Washington on Sunday after serving a five-game NHL suspension.