Monday, June 28, 2010

THE CURIOUS CASE OF GALIEV'S DRAFT SLIDE

Despite a slide in the National Hockey League Entry Draft, Stanislav Galiev appears to be enjoying life as a Washington Capitals prospect.

Selected in the third round, 86th overall by the Caps, Galiev had a smile on his face during the entirety of press conference than was featured on the team’s website.

"He went a lot later than he thought," said Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant- who attended the draft - to the Telegraph-Journal. "Once it happened, he was very excited."

TSN ranked Galiev as their 40th best prospect, NHL Central Scouting listed him at 20 among North American players, International Scouting Services at 24, and The Hockey News had him at 37.

The reasoning behind the Saint John Sea Dog forward’s slip in the has been widespread. Whether it be his work ethic, size, or defensive play, everyone seems to think that Galiev can – and will have to improve his play significantly over next season.

“He needs to fill out a bit and will spend another season with Saint John of the QMJHL,” said a RotoWorld.com’s scouting report.

"The reasons I was given by an NHL scout was that he did not improve much from last season and his overall lack of strenght," said Rick Springhetti of McKeen's Hockey magazine on Twitter.

"He has to get to that net and make sure he pays the price to score some goals," Gallant said.

The 18-year olds production as a rookie has also been questioned by some. Galiev scored 15 goals and added 45 assists while playing on one of the most productive lines in the league last season with Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen.

“I’d say Galiev is more of a playmaker than (Capitals first round pick and fellow Russian Evgeny) Kuznetsov,” said Capitals scouting director Ross Mahoney to CSN Washington. “Kuznetsov probably will score a little bit more. Galiev played right wing in the Quebec league this year, but he was a center for Russia in the summer tournament on the first line.”

Despite playing on the right wing with Saint John last season, “the Capitals envision him as a playmaking center,” reports CSN.

One item of baggage that does not come with Galiev is the “Russian Factor,” a term used to describe Russian players who may stay and play in Europe.

“Like three years ago I came here in my last year with Dynamo for a Nike Bauer tournament and after when I came home I told my mom, ‘Mom I want to play in North America,’ ” Galiev said. “I really like North American style of hockey.”

Despite being listed as the second best player from the QMJHL available by most publications, eight players from the circuit went ahead of him. They were: Round 1 - 13, Phoenix - Brandon Gormley D (Moncton); Round 2 - 55, Columbus - Petr Straka F (Rimouski); Round 3 - 65 - New York Islanders - Kirill Kabanov F (Moncton); 68 - Buffalo - Jérôme Gauthier-Leduc D (Rouyn-Noranda); 71 - Colorado - Michaël Bournival F (Shawinigan); 72 - Tampa Bay - Adam Janosik D (Gatineau); 76 - Ottawa - Jakub Culek F (Rimouski) and 81 - Detroit - Louis-Marc Aubry F (Montreal).

To read what Capital fans are saying about Galiev on the blog Japers’ Rink, click HERE.

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