Prospect Profile: Alex Galchenyuk
|2011-2012||Sarnia Sting (playoffs)||6||2||2||4||-6||12|
Alex Galchenyuk was expected to compete with Sarnia Sting teammate Nail Yakupov going into this season for the first overall draft selection. A torn ACL changed those plans and made Galchenyuk miss all but two regular season games in his draft year. Galchenyuk is still expected to be drafted in the top five, a testament to his skill. Because of his injury there is a chance he could fall to 5th overall and be drafted by Toronto if they don’t trade up for him.
Galchenyuk is hard to gauge in terms of potential and where he will be drafted. While many fans think he will be drafted in the top three most of them don’t see the risk factor behind not drafting a player who they haven’t gotten an opportunity to see develop in his draft year. Players can make major strides forwards or backwards in their draft year and because of Galchenyuk’s injury scouts are forced to draft in the dark. He did bounce back to score four points in the six playoff games Galchenyuk played however that wasn’t enough to push the Sarnia Sting past the first round of the playoffs.
Galchenyuk who is American born has a Russian heritage and grew up living in Russia, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy watching his father play for European hockey teams. He speaks English, Italian and Russian. Galchenyuk has publically said he looks up to Russian Center Evgeni Malkin who bounced back from a similar injury to lead the NHL in points.
“Galchenyuk’s vision, stick wizardry and ability to operate in traffic are elite attributes and they complement his masterful playmaking skills perfectly. Alex’s sturdy frame and strong stick makes him difficult to knock off of the puck and a force to deal with in the offensive zone often resulting in more space for his linemates. Galchenyuk does not possess lightning quick feet but there are few concerns (pre-injury) with his skating as he operates with good speed and agility. Galchenyuk projects to be a playmaker first and shooter second but the young lad owns a lightning quick-release and accurate shot that keeps opponents honest.”- Brandon Ross http://hockey.dobbersports.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4334:alex-galchenyuk-drafting-the-unknown&catid=906:the-deans-list&Itemid=117
“In full form, Galchenyuk is a dynamic offensive forward who can flat out produce. He is often a very deceptive player and lurks around the ice, always seeming to be around the puck. Galchenyuk has great hands and an even better shot with a pro-calibre release and pin-point accuracy. If he can continue to improve his skating, his style is somewhat comparable to Evgeni Malkin. While Galchneyuk is still raw in some regards, his ceiling likely is higher than any other player in this draft.” – The Scouting Report http://www.thescoutingreport.org/2012-nhl-draft-final-100-rankings-125/
“At this time last year, there were three forwards who people in the industry thought had a chance to go first overall: Mikhail Grigorenko, Nail Yakupov, and Alex Galchenyuk. Grigorenko has the work ethic question mark but the highest upside, Yakupov has the scoring track record and a more explosive style of play but his possession skill set isn’t as high end, and Galchenyuk brings a good median between the two which is why some NHL sources thought he had a great chance to go number one overall before tearing his [Editor: correction] ACL. Prior to the knee injury, Galchenyuk’s skating showed anywhere from above-average to plus with significant improvement over the last year or two. His top speed is impressive and can certainly back defensemen up. With a major knee surgery lingering over him, though, what was once a strength of his game may be in question, but when he came back at the end of the season there seemed to be no lingering effects in that area. Galchenyuk’s true strengths lie in his puck skills, vision, and overall possession ability. He’s a very talented playmaker who has a pass-first mentality, thinks the game at a high level, and his decisions require little processing time. He’s very coordinated in tight, showing plus puck skills and great creativity. While he can do great things in open ice, he’s also dangerous on the cycle with a big body and a good physical work ethic that makes it very hard for opponents to strip possession from him. Galchenyuk is a very hard worker who shows commitment at the defensive end of the rink, and outside of the knee injury, he has no aspect about his profile that you cannot praise.” – Corey Pronnman, The Hockey Prospectus http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1307