After missing almost all of last season with a torn ACL, Alex Galchenyuk will be hard pressed to make the NHL next season.
That said, he’s going to get a chance.
That was the word out of Montreal on Tuesday as GM Marc Bergevin said third overall pick at the 2012 draft would have a shot of making the big club this fall.
“It will be difficult because he didn’t play much hockey last season,” Bergevin told the Montreal Gazette. “But we’ll see how he does in training camp.”
It’s believed Bergevin’s leaving the door slightly ajar because of how well Galchenyuk fared at the recent U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. He scored a pair of goals and chipped in with an assist, winning over head coach Phil Housley in the process.
“I really liked the compete level,” Housley told NHL.com. “He goes in the areas that are tough to go in. Eventually he worked his way through, and for a young guy that didn’t see a lot of ice last year, he got rewarded in the Sweden game with a goal.”
When healthy, Galchenyuk can be an explosive scorer. He had 31G-52A-83PTS in 68 games during his rookie year with OHL Sarnia, a performance that rocketed him to the top of scouting draft boards — and kept him there, despite the catastrophic knee injury in his sophomore season.
It’ll be curious to see how Galchenyuk fares in the battle for center spots at Montreal’s training camp. Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Lars Eller and Scott Gomez currently sit atop the depth chart, and journeyman Petteri Nokelainen is also in the mix.