Habs prospect Alex Galchenyuk (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)
Now you see him, now you don't. Montreal Canadiens No. 3 overall choice Alex Galchenyuk has shown off skills that thrill all season since returning to the OHL's Sarnia Sting.
Sunday, the 18-year-old who's expected to be catalytic for Team USA later this month at the IIHF world U20 championship did it again to break open a tight game between the Sting and Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds. Sarnia had one-goal lead when Galchenyuk came down 1-on-1 against defenceman Alex Gudbranson, who attempted to angle him toward the boards in textbook fashion. It might have worked, but Galchenyuk was operating on another plane as he slalomed by the defender into the slot to beat Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick Matt Murray on the short side. It comes up at the 30-second mark of TV Cogeco Sarnia's recap, after you hear the tossing of the teddy bears:
Not necessarily amahzing, but it still has the this-guy-isn't-long-for-junior vibe.
By unofficial count, Galchenyuk's 22 goals and 52 points means he has scored or assisted on 47.4 per cent of Sarnia's tallies during the games in which's he played. The triple threat of the future Hab, New Jersey Devils fourth-rounder Reid Boucher (45 points) and overage Charlie Sarault (35) is a big reason why Sarnia is leading the OHL's West Division. Only one other Sting forward, Russian newcomer Nikolai Goldobin, even has 20 points with the regular season near its halfway point.
The Niagara IceDogs' Ryan Strome has factored into 51.7% of his team's goals (62 points for a team which has scored 120 times). I have said this before, but it's arguable that when the disparities in conference strength are accounted for, Galchenyuk is having more impact than any other forward in the OHL.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: TV Cogeco Sarnia).
- Sports & Recreation
- Sarnia Sting
- Alex Galchenyuk