Caps sign prospect Stanislav Galiev to entry-level deal

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The Capitals added to their Russian foundation as they signed forward prospect Stanislav Galiev to a three-year entry-level contract worth an average of $550,000 per season. The 19-year-old Moscow native was a third round selection for the Caps (86th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft held in Los Angeles.

Galiev was widely considered one of the best players coming out of the QMJHL in 2010 and most people thought he’d be a first round pick. Luckily for the Caps, they saw the talented winger drop all the way down to the end of the 3rd round before they picked him up. His performance last season certainly rewarded their trust. In turn, the Capitals have rewarded him with his first pro contract in North America.

From the Capitals’ official release:

“The Washington Capitals have signed forward Stanislav Galiev to a three-year entry-level contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6’1”, 188-pound forward spent the 2010-11 season with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he helped lead his team to the Memorial Cup championship. Galiev tallied a goal and two assists in four Memorial Cup games after helping Saint John win the QMJHL championship. He ranked fifth in the league in playoff points (27), third in assists (17) and tied for sixth in goals (10). During the regular season, Galiev set career highs in goals (37) and points (65) while adding 28 assists.”

Galiev played an important role on an absolutely stacked St. John Sea Dogs team that took home the Memorial Cup last season. He’s scored 125 points in his two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but he started to blossom last season with 37 goals in 64 games. Like most prospects, he’ll need to continue to work on his defensive game and physical conditioning before he’ll be able to contribute at the NHL level.

Odds are he’ll need another year or two to round out his game. But if he continues to progress like the Capitals organization expects, he’ll add yet another weapon to a team that already has loads of offensive firepower.

Isles sign Northeastern captain Stevens

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John Stevens, who just wrapped a four-year career at Northeastern University, has signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Islanders, the club announced on Monday.

Stevens, 22, went undrafted but emerged as a valuable player for the Huskies, culminating with a senior season in which he served as captain and averaged better than a point per game (28 in 25 contests).

Stevens is the son of longtime L.A. Kings associate coach John Stevens, who formerly served as the bench boss in Philly.

A third member 0f the Stevens clan, Nolan, also played this season at Northeastern — his junior campaign — and was taken by St. Louis in the fifth round of last year’s draft.

McElhinney to start for Leafs tomorrow

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Curtis McElhinney will start in goal for the Maple Leafs when they host Florida tomorrow.

Which means Toronto’s regular starter, Frederik Andersen, will not.

Andersen, hurt Saturday in Buffalo, only lasted 20 minutes of practice this morning. The Toronto Star, citing a Leafs source, is reporting that Andersen “took a blow to his jaw from a player in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Sabres.”

McElhinney is 4-5-0 with a .919 save percentage in 10 appearances for the Leafs this season. He told reporters that tomorrow will be the biggest start of his NHL career.

It remains to be seen who will back up McElhinney against the Panthers. The Leafs have recalled goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL on an emergency basis. All three netminders were on the ice today.

Update:

Expect Sparks to be the back-up tomorrow.

Toronto has a three-point playoff cushion, with eight games remaining.

The Leafs also recalled forward Kasperi Kapanen, the 22nd overall draft pick in 2014. Kapanen, 20, has 18 goals and 25 assists in 43 games for the Marlies this season. He’s expected to replace Ben Smith on the fourth line, alongside Brian Boyle and Matt Martin.

Habs sign d-man Mete, who ‘does everything’ for junior team

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Victor Mete, Montreal’s fourth-round pick at last year’s draft, has signed his three-year, entry-level deal, the club announced on Monday.

Mete, 18, is in his third year with OHL powerhouse London, and finished this season with 15 goals and 44 points in 50 games. He’s developed a reputation as a terrific skater, and often plays alongside fellow Knights d-man Olli Juolevi, who the Canucks took fifth overall at last year’s draft.

London assistant coach Dylan Hunter had high praise for Mete this season.

“When it comes to little nuances of his game, stick on puck, knowing when to make a play and when there isn’t a play to just get it out, he’s one of the best there is right now,” Hunter said, per the London Free Press.

“He does everything for us.”

Mete has one year of junior eligibility remaining, so it’s likely he’ll be back in London next season. At 5-foot-10 and just 180 pounds, he’s undersized and could use another year of development before turning pro.

 

After ‘great’ senior year, Pens sign Union standout Taylor

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Pittsburgh wasted little time in getting Jeff Taylor in the mix.

Taylor, the Union College senior defenseman who had his collegiate career end over the weekend, signed a two-year, entry-level deal on Monday, and also inked an ATO to join the club’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Taylor, the club’s seventh-round pick in 2014, enjoyed a career year at Union, helping the Dutchmen advance to the NCAA Tournament by setting career highs in goals (9) and points (33) in 38 games.

Back in December, Pens assistant GM Bill Guerin spoke glowingly about Taylor’s last collegiate campaign, saying he was in the midst of a “great” senior season.

“This is a kid we’ve been looking forward to getting since we drafted him,” Guerin said, per the Post-Gazette. “I remember his first development camp, everybody was like, ‘Oh, wow, look at this kid. He can move the puck, he can skate, he’s quick. He thinks the game well.’ And it hasn’t stopped.

“He’s an undersized guy, but he has the ability to get himself out of trouble because he’s got great feet and he thinks the game well.”