Many were surprised at the absence of Alex Galchenyuk from Team USA’s roster that will compete at the World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic later this month.
Perhaps none more than the Sarnia Sting standout himself, who admitted he was ready and willing to answer the call for his country.
“I was hoping I’ll represent Team USA but I respect their choice,” Galchenyuk told The Pipeline Show Tuesday.
The American roster is comprised of 21 members of the National Team Development Program along with one from high school in Daniel O’Regan. The team has no members from the Canadian Hockey League.
Galchenyuk, the third-ranked prospect for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, understood the strategy the team was trying to build around.
“They have a group that has been together for the last two years and they signed the contract to play for NTDP team,” Galchenyuk said. “They have their chemistry and stuff like that.
“They’ve been together for two years. They live together; go to school together. They have the chemistry and stuff like that so I really respect that.”
The Under-18’s could have given the six-foot-two, 205-pound center an opportunity to get in some more game action in front of scouts after an injury riddled campaign.
He made his regular season debut on March 14th after missing over six months with a knee injury that forced the six-foot-one, 185-pound centre to undergo surgery. He returned for two games on March 14th, but left March 16th’s game against the London Knights with an upper-body injury. He suited up for six games in the playoffs, scoring twice and adding two assists.