The Canadiens knew there was a certain amount of risk and any amount of second-guessig connected with their decision to select Alexander Galtchenyuk third overall in the June entry draft.
No amount of due diligence could guarantee Galchenyuk’s return to full speed and mobility following the reconstructive knee surgery he underwent only nine months before the draft following a training camp injury that cost him all but two regular season games. And those who questioned Trevor Timmins’ wisdom had Andrei Markov’s history to back up their skepticism.
Then Galchenyuk started the season in a relative funk with only four goals and fourteen points through the season’s first eleven games.
May I be among the first to say you can stow the negative thoughts.
Galchenyuk over his last sixteen games has been the hottest scorer in the Ontario Hockey League with 34 points, including 15 goals and 19 assists. His last four games he’s picked up 6 goals and 6 assists.
Galchenyuk came to Sarnia three years ago as a right winger. Jacques Beaulieu, the Sting head coach, converted him to centre probably because it was easier to move Galchenyuk to centre than right winger Nail Yakupov. With Yakupov now in the KHL this season and probably with some input from the Canadiens, Beaulieu moved Galchenyuk back to the right side on a line centered by Charles Sarrault with Reid Boucher on the left side. The trio has scored 51 goals in the season’s 29 games.
If he can maintain his current pace, and there’s nothing to make you think he won’t, Galchenyuk is in for something in the order of 130 points,.
That is, unless the Canadiens decide that he’s ready for the big show and that, my friends is a possibility that is growing on a daily basis.
Update- Galchenyuk was named on the preliminary Team USA roster for the World Junior Championships later this month.