Alex Galchenyuk

Aaron Vickers

Skating is one of his major strengths as his speed is high-end. He possesses great balance and has very nice agility, especially with the puck on his stick. While not as shifty and daring a skater as Yakupov, Galchenyuk accelerates quickly, usually in three quick steps, with his feet allowing for a sudden change of direction. He has a good frame on him and was hard to knock off the puck last season. He’s used this season, while not on the ice, to build up his upper body strength. He utilizes his quick, skilled hands to make highlight reel plays by beating defenders to the net. He has strong positioning and a good reach to protect the puck. Naturally he is more of a playmaker than a finisher, as his vision is off the charts and he can accurately hit a moving target through legs and sticks. He’s at his best when he drives the net with the puck — defenders not only need to watch out for his physical presence barrelling at them, but also his skill to make a deke and his ability to dish the puck to an open teammate at any second. Alex has that rare ability to slow the game down, make decisions and execute plays before defenders have a chance to read and react. He has a very accurate shot that has a good release, but he needs to utilize it more often. He looks very smooth with the puck and will be an impact NHLer in a couple seasons. (May 2012)