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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Alex Galchenyuk

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 10:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Alex Galchenyuk
Each weekday leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s eighth pick. Previous Profiles: Cody Ceci | Mathew Dumba | Radek Faksa | Filip Forsberg | Related Links: 2012 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History





Coming into his draft-eligible season with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, forward Alex Galchenyuk appeared poised to be a top-five draft pick alongside good friend, teammate and perceived top selection Nail Yakupov.

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But a torn ACL suffered during the preseason in September sent Galchenyuk’s draft stock into question, as the now 18-year-old missed all but the final two games of Sarnia’s regular season.

Even still, Galchenyuk is the fourth ranked North American skater according to the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service.

“[The injury] was cause for concern, but I don’t think it has done too much to alter his draft status at all,” said Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald.

Despite not recording a point and going minus-4 in his two regular season games, Galchenyuk rebounded in the playoffs with 4 points (2g, 2a) as Sarnia bowed out in six games. The fact that Galchenyuk – who was left off the midterm draft rankings – was able to return from his injury and factor in on the scoresheet in the playoffs might have salvaged what could have been a falling draft stock. It also speaks to his work ethic and commitment that he was able to return to game-action in the same season.

“He was just starting to hit his stride in the playoffs when they were eliminated,” MacDonald said.

ALEX GALCHENYUK
CENTER
HOMETOWN: MILWAUKEE, WI
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 185
BIRTHDAY: FEB. 12, 1994 (AGE 18)

Because of his season-long injury, scouts have to largely rely on what they saw in his previous season with Sarnia, which was very productive. As a 16- and 17-year-old in the 2010-11 season, Galchenyuk ranked second among OHL rookies and third among all CHL rookies in scoring with 83 points (31g, 52a) in 68 games.

He preceded his first season in Sarnia by posting 87 points (44g, 43a) in just 38 games with the Chicago Young Americans midget team. The next highest scorer in that league had 33 fewer points than Galchenyuk.

“We watched him closely his underage year in Sarnia,” MacDonald said. “He is a pretty explosive player who put up some big numbers as an underage kid.”

With the state of his fitness and durability virtually unknown due to the injury, the combine – especially the physical testing – became that much more vital. It was a final chance for team doctors to access his health after the six-month rehab process.

While Galchenyuk’s draft rank might have been in flux, the assessment of his talents is not. The center is seen as a skilled playmaker with tremendous vision and the ability to find the back of the net with a laser shot. Some scouts have compared him to Marian Hossa.

Galchenyuk’s style of play is somewhat representative of his personal background. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Galchenyuk followed his Belarusian hockey-playing father around the globe during his career. This took him to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Russia before settling back in the United States as a teenager. Trilingual (he speaks English, Russian and Italian) and a dual citizen of the United States and Russia, Galchenyuk dresses for the U.S. in international play.

Similar to Filip Forsberg (profiled here), Galchenyuk is such an elite forward that he might not be available at eighth. Should he slip due to concerns over his injury, one team in the top 10 will likely look past it, in favor of his skill set that should enable him to become a future all-star center in the NHL.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60