2007-08: The season has been Evgeny Grachev’s most successful, as he played well for Russia’s U18 junior national team and averaged more than a goal per game for the junior Lokomotiv 2. Still, while Grachev definitely brought size and knows how to use his body, the games against the Canadians demonstrated that the young forward still needs to become quicker on his feet and in his decisionmaking, as well as to become more skilled in controlling the game physically with his imposing 215lb frame.
2008-09: In his first season in North America, Grachev was the second-leading scorer for the OHL’s Brampton Battalion and also played for Russia in the 2009 U20 World Junior Championship. He scored 40 goals with 40 assists and was +48 with 22 PMs in 60 regular season games.The Battalion reached the OHL finals after finishing first in the Central Division and in 19 playoff games Grachev scored 11 goals with 14 assists and was +8 with 25 PMs. He was named OHL Rookie of the Year. In seven games for bronze-medal winning Russia at the junior tournament, Grachev scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was +3 with 4 PMs.
2009-10: Grachev made his North American pro debut as a 19-year-old and appeared in 80 games for the Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford. He scored 12 goals with 16 assists but had a team-worst -13 plus/minus with 14 PMs. The Wolf Pack finished sixth in the Atlantic Division, three points out of the final playoff spot.
2010-11: Grachev made his NHL debut in late October 2010 and saw limited ice time in eight games for the Rangers; spending most of the season with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale. Grachev was scoreless and -3, averaging under 8 minutes of ice time in his time with New York. Grachev was one of the top two-way forwards for Connecticut, finishing +21 while scoring 16 goals with 22 assists and 38 PMs in 73 games. Connecticut finished third in the Atlantic Division. In the Whale’s six-game, first-round playoff series with Portland Grachev had 2 assists and was -2 with 4 PMs. Grachev was acquired by the Blues in exchange for a 2011 third round pick in June 2011.
2011-12: Grachev split the season between St. Louis and AHL Peoria in his first season in the Blues organization. He opened the season with St. Louis before being sent down in late November and shuttled between the two clubs until February – when he joined Peoria for the rest of the season. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was minus-four with 2 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Blues; averaging 9:20 minutes of ice time. He was with St. Louis during the playoffs but did not get in any games. He scored 3 goals with 7 assists and was minus-four with 18 penalty minutes in 39 games for the Rivermen. Peoria missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Midwest Division.
2012-13: Grachev was one of two players, along with AHL veteran and leading scorer T.J. Hensick, to skate in all 76 games for St. Louis AHL affiliate Peoria. The fifth-leading scorer of the Rivermen, he had 11 goals with 15 assists and was -19 with 40 penalty minutes. Peoria missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the Midwest Division. Tendered a qualifying offer by the Blues in July, Grachev signed a contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in August, 2013 to play in the KHL in 2013-14.
Grachev is a top prospect with size, a physical presence and good hands. An above average skater with a pro shot and the ability to protect the puck, Grachev has transitioned from being a center to being a winger. Expected to be a power forward at the next level, Grachev will need to work on giving the team a consistent effort throughout the game, but there is no question that he has all the skills to be a top-six forward in the NHL.
Grachev has not looked like the player drafted back in 2008. After a great rookie season, Grachev has yet to compile consistent offensive output, suggesting he may have been rushed to the professional level. The Blues extended hiim a qualifying offer to retain his rights, but Grachev signed a contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL for the 2013-14 season.