It may not have seemed like it at the time, but Alex Galchenyuk had a rebound season in 2017-18. He managed to work his way off the third and fourth lines, taking his place back within the top six.
Even though he had a difficult time producing during five-on-five action, with the absence of Shea Weber, Galcheynuk stepped up and brought his one-timer to the power play on more than one occasion.
Over the last two years, the Canadiens have played the young forward alongside more defensive-minded defencemen, however, data indicates that Galchenyuk performs significantly better with more offensive-minded blue-liners.
So, it would seem that the best way to maximize his talent is to play him with players who have the hockey sense and intuition to take advantage of the skill he possesses.
Last summer, the 24-year-old was a hot commodity, but so far this off-season the buzz isn’t nearly as high. After topping 50 points for a second time, why would Marc Bergevin even consider trading one of his most skilled players? Because Galchenyuk may have the highest trade value of any player on the roster.
Galchenyuk has a contract under $5 million for the next two years, and Bergevin has made it clear that if he trades one of his biggest chips, he wants a top-three defenceman or a top-six centre in return. This could prove challenging as he’s trading from a position of weakness and potential buyers know they hold all the cards in negotiations.
It’s possible that he can pull off a good trade with Galchenyuk. Hey, anything’s possible. But trading away a major piece of your team isn’t something to be undertaken lightly, and he’ll likely be moving a player who hasn’t yet reached his full potential.
Once upon a time, Galchenyuk was seen as the future of the Canadiens franchise as we watched him seemingly grow into the role of an offensive top-line forward. But after six seasons of adapting to a rotating cast of linemates that has hindered his development, how will the young veteran fare in the upcoming season?
Despite the inconsistency in his play last season, Galchenyuk was a powerhouse on special teams, leading the club with 24 power-play points. With the right structure and an offensive breakout, Galchenyuk’s ceiling could be much higher than the 56-point total he’s managed to this point of his career.
You voted for his top play this season, and it was a close race, but Galchenyuk’s goal versus the Washington Capitals on March 24 took the crown.
Known more for a quick, accurate wrist shot and a one-timer from the right faceoff circle, it was a different release that was showcased on this goal. Given some space to work, he pulled the puck all the way across the width of the crease in one quick motion, and had plenty of net to shoot at to beat Philipp Grubauer.
How do you grade Alex Galchenyuk’s 2017-18 season?
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