With the bountiful amount of promising centers in the Buffalo Sabres prospect pool, there are some that simply won't make it. Having only four spots for these centers to take advantage of, some will be forced to adjust to the wing position if there are better options for the team at center. Which players will end up having to move to the wing spots on the team? A few candidates off the bat are Sam Reinhart and Mikhail Grigorenko.
Why Reinhart should move to the wing: Sam Reinhart is heading into only his second season after spending his first year in the WHL after Tim Murray sent the rookie back to Kootneay after 10 games with the Sabres. Often teams ease their young prospects into the NHL level of play by moving them to wing first, which is then an easier transition back to their natural position of center. Reinhart is a two way forward that could really thrive on the wing playing with an experienced center such as Zemgus Girgensons in his first year with the team.
Why Reinhart should not move to wing: Reinhart was the second overall pick for a reason. He is a gifted player. A deadly accurate passer that has great vision and hands. He is perfect for the second line center role. Imagining Reinhart playing on a line with Tyler Ennis and a young player like Mikhail Grigorenko makes me giddy.
Why Grigorenko should move to wing: Grigorenko played wing for the remaining month or so of last season and looked pretty good scoring 3 goals and 3 assists in 25 games. He was a lot more comfortable than he has been in the past few seasons. Grigorenko is a sniper, he has a great shot and could really make a difference along the boards in the offensive zone. He would be better suited being the sniper than the playmaker. Having Grigorenko being fed by Reinhart or Jack Eichel could finally bring out that potential Sabres fans have been searching for in the young Russian.
Why Grigorenko should not move to wing: Early on I was skeptical of Grigorenko's work ethic. I thought he was of little value in the defensive zone. Since the summer of 2014 when Grigorenko was fighting for a spot on the roster, I was very impressed with his improvement over the offseason to work on his defensive game. He was very effective in back checking last year, he was a pain for opposing forwards who Grigorenko would often be able to steal the puck from them before they could make a play. If he can improve on his skating, center might be the better fit.
Prediction: In the end I think Murray sees the potential of having Sam Reinhart center Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson or Grigorenko. Reinhart and Grigorenko complement each other, I think they could thrive playing on the same line. Reinhart's talents however better suit the center position than Grigorenko's do.