2012 Draft News and Notes
Galchenyuk Returns From ACL Rehab
One of the most talked about prospects in the 2012 draft pool has been talented winger Alex Galchenyuk of Sarnia of the OHL.
Sarnia’s injury troubles this season rival what the Penguins have dealt with in losing their star players.
The consensus top prospect in the draft, Nail Yakupov, recently returned to the line-up after an egregious headshot left him sidelined at the end of the year. Sarnia’s lineup was bolstered by the return of Alex Galchenyuk, the sharpshooter who was sidelined all of 2011-12 with an ACL injury incurred from driving the net and landing awkwardly in the preseason.
The true testament to Galchenyuk’s game and skill-set is in his current draft ranking among the major outlets. Despite having missed all of 2011-12 with injury, Galchenyuk returned to Sarnia for the playoff run and has been gaining steam with each game.
Last night, Sarnia beat the Saginaw Spirit in overtime to give the Sting a 2-1 series lead. Galchenyuk and Yakupov were each held to 1 assist a piece, but Galchenyuk finally got on the board with a fantastic set-up on an early Sarnia goal.
Galchenyuk wears #94 for the Sting. Check out his cross-ice pass on the 3rd Sarnia goal.
Galchenyuk’s minutes in the late portion of the 3rd and overtime were limited, but as his stamina increases, he should begin to earn more ice-time as the post-season progresses.
Bozon Continues To Climb Draft Rankings
Tim Bozon might be sneaking his way into our favorite 2012 player spot. Bozon’s Kamloops Blazers currently possess a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the WHL playoffs with Bozon netting 3 goals so far in this tournament.
Bozon finished the regular season with 71 points (36+35) in 71 games played.
Bozon has a wide range of offensive ability. He’s got great hands, a strong compete level, decent wheels, and an extremely underrated shot. Bozon is a dual threat in every sense of the term, his vision and playmaking allow him to make his teammates better, but his shot makes him a lethal threat in his own right.
With a continued strong playoff performance, Bozon will continue to climb up the NHL draft depth chart, but this is certainly a player we hope will be available when the Penguins step to the podium in front of the hometown crowd this June.
Gaunce On The Move
A player that many people thought might be available towards the end of the first round for 2012 was Belleville Bulls prospect Brendan Gaunce.
In the most recent McKeen’s draft ranking Gaunce ranks in at 12th overall, a surprise considering the slow scoring pace he was on at the end of 2012.
A staunch defensive center, Gaunce has a great attitude, a bit of an untapped scoring potential, but vastly needs to work on his skating before he’s NHL ready. It might be those same skating deficiencies that have hampered his scoring in his first three playoff games this year.