Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Alex Galchenyuk, Canadiens Agree to Entry-Level Contract

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Monday the signing of his 2012's third overall pick Alex Galchenyuk to a three-year contract.

Galchenyuk will make $925,000 next season plus performance bonuses if he manages to stick around the team instead of being sent back to his junior team.

In 2011-12 the 18-year old Galchenyuk missed the majority of the season due to a knee injury, playing only two regular season games with the OHL's Sarnia Sting. The six-foot-one, 195 lbs forward recorded four points in six games in the playoffs. In his first junior season in 2010-11, Gally ranked third in scoring with the Sting, with a total of 83 points — 31 goals, 52 assists — in 68 regular season games.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Galchenyuk speaks fluent Russian, English and Italian. Galchenyuk also lived in Switzerland for a year when he was while his father, Alexander, was playing hockey. He learned French while he was there, though he said he has since lost his fluency. Still, the young superstar is planning on picking it up and, via Twitter, has already addressed his fans in French with the help of fellow Habs draftee Charles Hudon.

The fans' newest idol will have every chance to make the team out of training camp in the fall. "He will decide where he plays next season," Bergevin said after the Canadiens drafted Galchenyuk third overall at the draft in Pittsburgh. However, since Galchenyuk only played eight games in 2011-12, he will most likely begin the season in Sarnia with the Sting, unless he has a tremendous training camp with the Habs. 

Another possibility would be for him to play his nine games with Montreal before being sent down to Sarnia, because if a prospect stays past nine games, he burns the first year of his newly signed entry-level contract, which is not something a team wants.

Now, Marc Bergevin can attend to the last major issue at hand: the re-signing of RFA defenseman P.K. Subban, who will most likely sign a long-term contract extension with the team. Bergevin is scheduled to meet Subban's agent Don Meehan later this week.

Follow me on Twitter for more updates on the Canadiens and hockey in general and follow Alex at @AGally94.

(Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images)


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