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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 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45