The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #2 Draft Prospect - Alex Galchenyuk:
Feb 12 1994
|2011/12 - Sarnia Sting
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2010/11||OHL First All-Rookie Team
|2009/10||MWEHL Top Scorer
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?):
A star Wild Russian? Thats new ...
Summarized Scouting Report
A big, power-forward type winger ... a strong playmaker ... projects to be a playmaker first and shooter second... not overly dynamic, but elusive ... skates at an above-average level ... long looping skater who generates good northsouth speed ...has good agility and quickness despite his stride ... balanced ... a big, ideal frame which projects well ... able to protect the puck using his lower body positioning ... has a great shot and a deceptive release ... owns a lightning quick-release and accurate shot ... can make some impressive pinpoint passes ... soft hands who is good along the wall ... has elite hands and can really dangle the puck ... ability to operate in traffic ... shows good hockey sense and willingness to drive into the dirty areas ... can really can control the pace of the game and can change the speed of the game ... makes quick decisions ... has nice vision ... an incredibly smart-two player ... works hard defensively ... sticks up for himself when the physical play comes ... a competitive streak that is unrivalled by his peers
Missed his entire draft year with a knee injury ... teams may be concerned with how he bounces back from the injury ... first few steps are a concern ... does not possess lightning quick feet ... there were times when he was overdoing it too much by himself
NHL Top Line Playmaking Offensive Center
Alex Galchenyuk (via hockeysemin)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
If we left out the part where Galchenyuk is super skilled in goal scoring as well, I think the Wild have enough playmakers.
But that is if we left out his goal scoring abilty.
In other words ... I wish we had a chance with him ...
Originally, I had Galchenyuk rated around #7 because I wondered what effect his injury would have on him, not to mention losing an entire season of development.
But after the scout meeting with several Future Considerations staff, I have been convinced the he has a place at #2. Why? Over guys like Grigorenko and Murray?
Let's pretend he did not have his injury: we would be talking about a prospect with a great frame (6'1 and growing), elite playmaking skill and vision, and is able to use all his offensive skills at high speeds and in tough traffic. He can also play the physical side of the game. In addition, he has great character and tons of passion in his game.
You put the skills and character factors together and you have one hell of a prospect. If teams feel the worst of the injury is behind him, Galchenyuk will make a very convincing #2 prospect.
There were some questions about his initial quickness and speed, but seeing the success of Mikael Granlund, being the fastest isn't everything. What is most important is good skating technique, being agile, and being able to execute plays under pressure, in traffic, and in motion. Galchenyuk can do all that and more. That is why he is my #2 prospect.
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report