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Evaluating the Options

At one time, Alex Galchenyuk was considered a no-brainer to go early in the
2012; he was drafted 1st overall in the 2010 OHL priority draft, and then
scored 83 points in 68 games as a rookie for the Sarnia Sting. 
Unfortunately, an injury cost him all but 2 games of this last year, although he
did play during the playoffs and appeared to be fully recovered.  In light
of the varying viewpoints, could this big centre be what the Canadiens have been lacking for
so long?


Born: February 12, 1994 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Height: 6’1    Weight: 198 lbs    Shoots: Left

ISS Rank: 16    THN Rank: 7    McKeens Rank: 2

Year Team League GP G A P PIM
2009-10 Chicago MWEHL. 38 44 43 87 56
2010-11 Sarnia OHL 68 31 52 83 52
2011-12 Sarnia OHL 2 0 0 0 0

Galchenyuk is a big, play-making centre with excellent vision for the game. 
For his size, he skates very well and is responsible at both ends of the ice. 
Known mainly for his passing abilities, Galchenyuk possesses an underrated shot
that is hard and accurate.  Although he doesn’t shy away from the physical
aspect of the game, critics agree that Galchenyuk could use his size more and
add some grit to his game.  A fitness freak, Galchenyuk is likely to get
even stronger over the off-season and increase his ability to play in the big
league next season.

Galchenyuk projects as a first line centre, but it is uncertain if he’d step
into that role with the Canadiens in the 2012-13 season.  The young
American would probably benefit from easier minutes, although that would likely come
with the cost of playing with inferior linemates.  However, it is not out
of the question that Alex may steal a roster spot if he has a good camp. 
Even with reduced minutes, Head Coach Michel Therrien would have to see the
merit of putting Galchenyuk in some opportune situations, such as the powerplay,
and give the rookie some confidence while contributing to Montreal’s overall offensive
depth.  There is a good chance that should the Habs select Galchenyuk with
their first-round pick, the Canadiens would finally have a number one centre
for years to come.