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2012 NHL Draft Prospects: Alex Galchenyuk

Center Alex Galchenyuk appears likely to be one of the top picks in the 2012 NHL Draft, which begins Friday night at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Galchenyuk is a very high-upside pick. There are questions about him due to a torn ACL that caused him to miss much of this season, but he returned in March, and he should be able to recover completely, so that might not affect his draft stock much. SB Nation's mock draft has Galchenyuk going at No. 4 overall, to the Islanders. Sports Illustrated predicts he'll go at No. 3, to the Canadiens.

Born in Milwaukee but raised in Russia, Switzerland and Italy, he has tremendous hockey sense, plays a reliable defensive game and is equally adept at playmaking as he is at finishing. He'll need another year or two in juniors to compensate for lost development time, but he's a good bet to mature into a top-six role.

Here's Jackets Cannon's profile of Galchenyuk. Matt Wagner notes that he doesn't expect Galchenyuk to be the pick for the Blue Jackets at No. 2, and Nail Yakupov appears very likely to go the Oilers at No. 1. After that, though, Galchenyuk appears likely to come off the board quickly.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.