Yesterday, the Montreal Canadiens announced they have signed 2012 first-round pick Alex Galchenyuk to a three-year entry level contract. Galchenyuk was selected third overall at this year’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, PA.
Galchenyuk, 18, only took part in two regular season games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting in 2011-12. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward missed the majority of the season due to a knee injury. In the playoffs, Galchenyuk registered four points, while playing in all six contests.
During several interviews since being drafted, Galchenyuk faced several questions about whether his knee injury and the fact that he missed most of last season because of it, would affect his chances of making the jump to the big leagues this season.
“I don’t know how many times people have checked my knee over the past two months,” Galchenyuk said while attending the Canadiens’ development camp last month in Brossard. “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.
“I knew I wasn’t going to have any issues with it. I don’t think I would have been drafted here if Montreal didn’t think it was at 100 per cent.”
Galchenyuk believes that he will regain full strength in that knee, 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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