Evgeny Grachev Named OHL Rookie of the Year
Grachev, a 19-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia, was selected by the Battalion 40th overall in the CHL Import Draft last June. He finished first among OHL rookies in scoring with 40 goals and 40 assists for 80 points in 60 games. He had a plus-minus rating of plus-48 which was fourth best in the league. His 40 goals were the fifth highest total in the OHL and his 80 points had him ranked 13th in the league this season. Grachev also helped Team Russia win a bronze medal at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa. He was selected in the third round, 75th overall, by the New York Rangers at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Grachev has had a monstrous year with the Battalion and has made a smooth transition to North American hockey. He looks like he's going to be an absolute steal as a third round pick in the 2008 draft. He's big, he's fast, he's strong and he's growing into an offensive dynamo. A big scoring winger is exactly what the Rangers need. It's not clear where Grachev is going to play next year, but with his Battalion in the OHL playoffs, it doesn't look like he's going to catch the back end of the 'Pack season.
Grachev is in good company as the OHL Rookie of the Year. Other recepiants include; Wayne Gretzky, Joe Thorton, Rick Nash and Patrick Kane. He is only the second Russian to receive the award. He was also named to the OHL All-Rookie Team.