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Montreal selects Alex Galchenyuk with first round selection.

  • You knew going into Friday night’s opening round of the NHL draft that the Montreal Canadiens were going to select a very good hockey player with the third overall selection. Habs fans everywhere are rejoicing however, at the selection of Sarnia Sting centreman Alex Galchenyuk. Certainly the offensive dynamo fits Montreal’s greatest need going forward – an elite offensive centreman with size. Galchenyuk has been touted by many pundits as a guy who could have gone first overall in this draft were it not for a year-long injury to his ACL that forced him to miss the lion’s share of his draft-eligible year. That is exactly the type of value pick up that you normally find in the middle of the first round, but the upside and potential for huge return was too much for the Montreal Canadiens to overlook. This is not a pick without risk however.

    The fact that Galchenyuk missed such a large amount of time means that the Canadiens are drafting him based on his play at a younger age, as well as a little bit on hype. We have all heard things said about him that are largely based on his effort in the gym and personality. Habs fans would do well to remember that when Andrei Kostitsyn was drafted, things such as “were it not for his (sickness in his case) he may have been drafted higher”. We also heard that he was the most talented skater in that draft, but had fallen only because of concerns over his epilepsy.

    I’m not suggesting Galcheyuk will be a bust. Far from it. I think Galchenyuk is an incredible talent.I also think that his gym-rat reputation may have played a big part in his selection given how Max Pacioretty has shown the value of perseverance through injury in the gym.

    Still, you have to factor in the possibility that if he had played this season, he could have regressed. The fact that he didn’t play means that scouts have the job of imagining what he could have done in a full year.

    Michael Grigorenko started the season as the consensus #2 pick – and yet fell to #14 and the Buffalo Sabres. (Which by-the-way has the potential to be an incredible steal at that pick for a team that is starting to stock-pile really talented offensive guys).

    This is a time however, for rejoicing. Galchenyuk is elite – there is no question. Montreal finally has that dynamic offensive centreman in its system. Because of his injury its likely that we’ll see him in the AHL next season next to Brendan Gallagher and on a powerplay with Nathan Beaulieau. Exciting thoughts for Habs fans.

    Montreal will pick twice in the 2nd round (33 and 51), once in the 3rd (64), once in the fourth (94), once in the fifth (122)  , and one final pick in the sixth (154). Late round picks have been traditionally where Trevor Timmins and his staff have shined. It will be interesting to see what further gems the Habs will pick up.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  1. #1 Avatar37 says:
    June 24, 2012 at 1:26 am

    You are correct, when AK was drafted, he was considered to be the most talented player available in the draft. Galchenyuk, while born in America, grew up all over the world. He’s acheived where he is right now through a strong work ethic, and he’ll need to continue to have this work ethic even after he acheives success and joins the NHL ranks on the Habs roster. We can only hope he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of AK (who I still think was good value for the money, even if he didn’t live up to his potential). Galchenyuk was the best choice for the Habs in third spot, and I would have made the same choice.

    I would be very shocked if Galchenyuk started the year playing on the Habs roster, especially after a year off, he should spend at least a year in Hamilton getting his groove back.

    And, if anyone has an answer for me, I’m curious to know because I thought we had stockpiled a bunch of second round picks this year via trade and am confused as to where they all went. I thought we had 3-4 of them, off the top of my head, ours, one from the AK trade, and one from the Cammalleri trade, and maybe one more that I’m forgetting?

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    June 25, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Avatar – There were a bunch of 2nd rounders flying around this past season. It shakes down like this:

    Hal Gill – 2nd rounder this season used to pick up Dalton Thrower at 51. Thrower is a 6 foot 200 pd 18 year old defenseman for the Saskatoon Blades. He’s very physical and actually a very good fighter – though it remains to be seen whether he can fight at his size in the NHL. He’s a ways off anyway.

    Michael Cammalleri, Kari Ramo & 2012 5th round pick
    Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland, 2013 2nd round pick.

    This trade may actually go down as one that redeems Pierre Gauthier. It was handled terribly – but getting a cheaper guy in Bourque, a rising prospect with building upside who will play in Hamilton next season, and a second rounder in next season’s draft is quite the haul for a guy who was under-performing for his large contract.

    Andrei Kostitsyn was traded for another 2nd round pick in 2013, as well as the conditional pick that Montreal sent to Nashville with Hal Gill.

    This means that next season Montreal has:
    1st rd – 1 pick
    2nd rd – 3 picks
    3rd rd – 1 pick
    4th rd – 0 picks (sent to NYI in James Wisniewski deal)
    5th rd – 1 pick
    6th rd – 1 pick
    7th rd – 1 pick

    Also – I should have updated the original post, but Galchenyuk is not eligible to play in Hamilton this season because he is only 18 and will turn 19 in February. Thus his options are to either play the full season in Montreal or to go back to Sarnia and play a final season in junior.

    Ultimately since he lost a full season last year – I can not imagine that Montreal will keep him up. There are enough guys at the end of their junior eligibility going to Hamilton that I suspect they’ll be very patient in bringing Galchenyuk up.

  3. #3 Avatar37 says:
    June 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Ok, thank you for clarifying for me Mats. I knew we’d aquired a bunch of 2nd round picks, didn’t know they were mostly for next year. =)

    Yeah, Galchenyuk shouldn’t be rushed, he should play one more season for the Sting (they develop players well anyway), then the following season we can evaluate whether he should be up or if he should go to Hamilton for a year.

    Do you know why the coaching staff in Hamilton was replaced? They seemed to be doing a great job at developing young players there. Did they move on to other things or were they fired?

  4. #4 Mats Naslund says:
    June 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    That is a link to the Hockey Operations for the club as they stand currently.

    Clement Jodoin replaced Randy Cunneyworth as Head Coach of the Bull Dogs last season, and has been promoted as an Assistant Coach for the Habs this season. He has been replaced by Sylvain Lefebvre. Ron Wilson (not the Leafs Wilson) remains, and has been with the team for parts of 6 or 7 seasons now. They have also added Donald Dufresne as assistant coach and Vincent Riendeau as goaltending consultant.

    Larry Carriere who was an assistant to Cunneyworth was moved into an Assistant GM role which is more suited to his skills. Randy Ladouceur was fired along with Randy Cunneyworth.

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