June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Alex Galchenyuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number three overall draft pick to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Galchenyuk keeping offseason preparations in perspective


The idea of playing for the Canadiens was very exciting for Galchenyuk’s father, who bounced around from league to league and country to country without ever making the NHL, but who has played a very big role in his son being on the  road to realizing that dream.

But, his father wasn’t the only family member who was happy Alex was drafted by Montreal.

“Even my grandparents, if you asked them how many teams were in the NHL they would probably say, ‘Montreal and the Chicago Blackhawks,’” Galchenyuk said.  “So when I said I got drafted by Montreal, they were like, ‘Oh yeah, we know that team.’ So it’s a big tradition here and we’re all really happy about it.”

During several interviews leading up to the Canadiens development camp, Galchenyuk repeatedly told reporters that playing for the Canadiens was his main goal.

He also had a few more goals for the development camp

“Just get stronger, faster, bigger and work on my skills to be a better player overall,” he told reporters during an interview on June 28, when the Canadiens’ three-day development camp was set to start at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.

“He will decide where he plays next season,” GM Marc Bergevin said of Galchenyuk after drafting him in Pittsburgh.

In the past, the Canadiens have been patient with young players and have brought them along slowly. The last Canadien to make the jump to the big club after being drafted was 18-year-old defenceman Petr Svoboda, who was drafted fifth-overall in 1984 after defecting from Czech-Slovakia.

Galchenyuk, who fills the Habs need for skilled center, has a pretty good chance of making the jump this season. He will have to earn it, but I believe he can make the Montreal’s roster for the upcoming season.

Trevor Timmins, the director of amateur scouting, said that was a possibility, but noted that Galchenyuk missed most of last season following knee surgery. There is no concern about the knee. Galchenyuk returned for the Ontario Hockey League playoffs and his knee has been checked by the team’s medical staff. However, Timmins pointed out that the injury left a gap in his development which could affect whether if he makes the Habs’ roster this season or not.

“I don’t know how many times people have checked my knee over the past two months,” said Galchenyuk. “It was checked at the (NHL) combine, it was checked in Montreal at the hospital, it was checked here with the Canadiens and it’s always been doing great.”

Galchenyuk is confident that he will regain full strength in time for the Habs training camp where he will try to secure a roster spot with the Canadiens for the 2012-13 season. If he fails to do so, which most think is unlikely, he will return to Sarnia to continue his development with the Sting.

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Tags: 2012 NHL Draft Alex Galchenyuk Draft Habs 2012 Off-season Marc Bergevin Montreal Canadiens NHL Prospects