Next up on draft watch as the first pick nears is 18-year-old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Sarnia Sting, center Alex Galchenyuk. Gally stands at 6’0″ and 198 lbs and shoots left-handed. NHL.com has him ranked as the fourth best North American skater and the third best forward behind Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko. Even though, he missed almost all of last season with a torn up knee, he remains one of the best offensive prospects in this draft. NHL scouts have said his playing style resembles Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa.
Galchenyuk’s offensive skills are what stand out most when he plays. He is very hockey smart and reads the ice and the flow of the game very well. He can be a strong finisher but also a strong playmaker anywhere in the offensive zone. His wrist shot always seems to have “eyes of its own” as it finds the smallest of places to get by the goaltender. Now, he is not overly physical, but he is willing to bang bodies down low in battles along the boards. He had incredible speed with and without the puck and his acceleration helped him skate by anyone. The biggest question mark with him is: how is his knee? That injury slowed down his progression and took away a good time for development. He showed incredible stuff as a rookie, but that’s really all scout’s have to look at and that was a long time ago now. It can be pretty devastating to have that severe an injury when you’re so young, he was only 17. However, there’s no doubt that he has the potential to be a top line scoring center in the NHL.
Gally was only able to appear in two games last year with the Sting and he went pointless. His rookie season however was only topped by his teammate and fellow top prospect Nail Yakupov. In 68 games, Gally tallied 31 goals and 52 assists for 83 points. Another season with the Sting will give everyone a clearer picture of how he is now. I would not think that any team would want him in the NHL this upcoming season after only one season in juniors, which was two years ago. I don’t think there’s much of a chance that he lasts until the Ducks at the sixth overall pick. I think the Montreal Canadiens will pick him third. However, the draft is so unpredictable anymore.
Here are some videos on Alex:
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