Arctic Ice Hockey's First Annual NHL Mock Draft: Pick #3

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: A banner is displayed at the Xcel Energy Center before the start of day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hey all! Welcome to Arctic Ice Hockey's first annual NHL Mock Draft. Over the next thirty days, Ryan, Tim and myself will attempt to telepathically channel the minds of NHL General Managers as they complete their final rankings in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft being held June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

In some instances, our analysis will require less insight than others *cough* *Edmonton* *cough*.

So without further adieu, we present our loyal readers with the third overall pick of Arctic Ice Hockey's 2012 Mock Draft.

Marc Bergevin: With the third overall selection in this years draft, the Montreal Canadiens are pleased to select...


Alex Galchenyuk

Centre / Sarnia Sting - OHL

6-0

February 12 1994
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Shoots: Left



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011-12 Sarnia Sting (OHL) 2 0 0 0 -4 0

Rankings: CSS (4 NA), ISS (14), TSN (4), Hockey Prospectus (3)

The Skinny: A torn ACL kept Galchenyuk out of Sarnia's line-up until the final two games of the regular season in which he was unable to record a single point. During the playoffs, Galchenyuk was able to find his scorning touch, marking four points in six games before the Sting were eliminated from the first round by the Saginaw Spirit. While Galchenyuk's injury was considered major, the fact that his draft stock was barely affected speaks to the outstanding talent he possesses. The Montreal Canadiens will be looking to bolster their depth at forward -- predominantly at centre after moving Louis Leblanc to wing -- and Galchenyuk is believed to have the most upside of any player still available.

Hockey Prospectus:

At this time last year, there were three forwards who people in the industry thought had a chance to go first overall: Mikhail Grigorenko, Nail Yakupov, and Alex Galchenyuk. Grigorenko has the work ethic question mark but the highest upside, Yakupov has the scoring track record and a more explosive style of play but his possession skill set isn't as high end, and Galchenyuk brings a good median between the two which is why some NHL sources thought he had a great chance to go number one overall before tearing his [Editor: correction] ACL. Prior to the knee injury, Galchenyuk's skating showed anywhere from above-average to plus with significant improvement over the last year or two. His top speed is impressive and can certainly back defensemen up. With a major knee surgery lingering over him, though, what was once a strength of his game may be in question, but when he came back at the end of the season there seemed to be no lingering effects in that area. Galchenyuk's true strengths lie in his puck skills, vision, and overall possession ability. He's a very talented playmaker who has a pass-first mentality, thinks the game at a high level, and his decisions require little processing time. He's very coordinated in tight, showing plus puck skills and great creativity. While he can do great things in open ice, he's also dangerous on the cycle with a big body and a good physical work ethic that makes it very hard for opponents to strip possession from him. - Corey Pronman

AIH Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov
LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets
Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)

Community Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets
Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

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