Wednesday, 29 February 2012

NHL Draft Prospect Report (Alex Galchenyuk)

2012 NHL Draft Prospect Report
Prospect: Alex Galchenyuk
Date of Birth: February 12th, 1994
Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Height: 6’1 Weight: 200 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Center
Team: Sarnia Sting of the OHL
Draft Eligible: 2012
Alex Galchenyuk, possibly the most underrated prospect in this year’s up-coming NHL Entry Draft and not because people don’t know who he is or because he plays in an obscure league or market. But because he hasn’t played a single game since he had a serious knee injury that has kept him out of action all year. Galchenyuk was the 1st overall pick of Sarnia in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection Draft after putting together an outstanding season with Chicago Young Americans of the MWEHL (44 goals,43 assists in 38 games played). He had the hockey world wondering what he could do in the OHL in his rookie season, possibly the hardest junior league to play in and he didn’t disappoint them. Finishing the year with 31 goals and 83 points good enough for 3rd in the entire CHL in rookie scoring, finishing behind only Nail Yakupov (101 points) and Sven Bartschi (85 points) both of which hold an age advantage. Galchenyuk plays much like a typical North American in the sense that he plays a very strong puck protection game. However this isn’t your typical North American, the American born Russian also has the ability to tantalize opponents with his wizard like stick handling skills and ability to be creative in a one on one situation.
After a summer in which he represented Team USA at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and left many people wanting more after what most would call a “disappointing performance” after finishing with only 3 goals and 4 points in 4 games. Alex was ready to show the critics and NHL General Managers that, the tournament was an abnormality and not the trend to expect. With expectations high on not only himself but from everyone around him, Alex was set to deliver until his season abruptly came to a premature end when he suffered a serious knee injury before playing a regular season game.
Even though he hasn’t played a single game yet this year scouts still like his ability thread the puck through tight areas, his quick release, his top speed and agility is good although he doesn’t possess the quickest feet, his vision, hockey sense and how well he sees the ice. Alex has a good size body and a strong stick which makes it hard to knock him off the puck, and is a machine in the offensive zone which leads to him creating space for his line mates. Galchenyuk projects to be a playmaker first and foremost but he also owns an accurate and lightning quick shot that will certainly keep his opponents honest.  
Scouts will certainly be watching closely as Galchenyuk gears up to return to action, since many have a sense that his injury could potentially delay this young kids development. With a strong showing he could end this speculation and show the scouts and many others why he was ranked as a top 3 prospect and potential #1 prospect coming into this season. Galchenyuk has many question marks surrounding him but I wouldn’t expect it to affect him come draft day. Whichever team drafts him should be thankful because had he not have suffered this injury he might not of ended up with that franchise.
NHL Potential: Top line center/franchise player
Draft Ranking: 5th overall-8th overall
Strong Points:
• Outstanding vision
• Top End Speed
• Plays well in traffic
• Lightning quick release
• Phenomenal stick handler
• Good defensive awareness
• Hockey Sense
• Passing ability

Weak Points:
• Increase his strength (specifically in his surgically repaired knee) and add strength to frame to handle the wear and tear of an NHL season
• Maintain defensive focus
• Develop his neutral zone and defensive zone judgement
• Improve his physical game
NHL Comparison:
- Marian Hossa
Fun Facts:
- Galchenyuk’s father was a professional hockey player, who also shares the same name
- Galchenyuk was drafted in the 2011 KHL Draft, 25th overall by Atlant Mytishchi
- Galchenyuk is an avid tweeter where he can be followed @AGally94
You can also reach us at @PuckCentralHQ

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