The Sabres have laid out the plan. It’s up to Mikhail Grigorenko to execute it. No deep thinking needed.

Months before training camp starts, Darcy Regier said his No. 1 pick in last year’s draft will be in the NHL this season and won’t be shuttled back to junior, since he’s too young to play in Rochester. Fair enough. There should be plenty of ice time for the 19-year-old to earn on this club.

But the seeds for a season are sown long before September. And there’s good news to report on that front. Grigorenko has been in Buffalo for more than a month working out and said he plans to spend all summer here. His skating looks smoother and more powerful. His English is dramatically better, too.

When the Sabres’ prospects take the ice for this afternoon’s scrimmage to cap development camp, I want to see Grigorenko look like an NHL player. I want to see a man-among-boys performance, the kind of ability on display that had scouts saying he could have been a top-3 pick in the draft last season.

Asked this week about Regier’s bold proclamation, Grigorenko said it won’t change how he approaches the season.

“I need to be a good player. I don’t think it changes anything,” he said. “I just need to work as hard as I can. If I’m not good enough, I’ll just not play. I’ll make sure I’m good enough for the NHL and hopefully I’ll play on the first two lines.”

The kid has the right idea. He was in a chicken-and-egg pickle last season. He didn’t show very much and the Sabres didn’t use him the right way very much, so how could he get better?

The Sabres scratched Grigorenko five times, played him less than 10 minutes a night 11 times and sent him back to Quebec even though they had already burned the first year of his entry-level contract. He scored one goal in 25 games, none in his last 19.

It was disappointing, especially given the way he looked in juniors and in the World Junior Championships for Russia. There was none of that same jump in his game in the NHL.