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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I'm an avid sports and movie fan, and I love statistical analysis of almost anything.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Leafs Get 5th Pick in 2012 NHL Draft

I don't know who is going to go where, but I hope the Leafs will use their first pick (fifth overall) to take centre Alex Galchenyuk from the OHL's Sarnia Sting.

Galchenyuk is a 6'1", 198 pounder who had 31 goals and 52 assists for 83 points in 68 games in 2010-2011 as a 16-year-old. As the first overall selection in the OHL draft in 2010, Galchenyuk has some experience living up to a high-pressure situation, and he'll need that (and then some) to succeed in Toronto. Obviously the jump to the NHL is far greater than the jump to the OHL, but Galchenyuk profiles as the type who should be able to manage.

Positives: great hands, great shot, strong on the puck, good vision, strong pedigree.

Negatives: plays with superstar Nail Yakupov and it remains to be seen how much of his production is attributable to that. Missed almost all of 2011-2012 season with a torn ACL and had an upper-body injury upon returning, too.

Most likely reasons for the Leafs taking him: He's American (born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin); he plays centre (the Leafs are lacking at centre); he has the combination gritty-talented that Burke loves.

Most likely reasons the Leafs won't take him: He might be picked before the Leafs have the opportunity (Central Scouting ranks him 4th among North American skaters); Burke might feel pressured to take a kid from Ontario, but I doubt it (and hope not); he has battled injury, and the Leafs might be scared off a kid with a major injury in his recent history.

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