Forward Alex Galchenyuk seems to want to work extra hard to jumpstart his career in the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Toronto Maple Leafs may well reap the rewards.
The ex-Montreal Canadiens skater convinced head coach Sheldon Keefe to give him a real chance. In five games for the Queen City team, he has registered three assists, including two against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Even if he has not exceeded 12:41 of usage time so far, Galchenyuk has the confidence of his bosses, especially since he plays in a trio completed by John Tavares and William Nylander.
Also, the American can stand out as much with his shooting as with his skills as a playmaker, as he proved last weekend. Known for the quality of his wrist throws, he challenged opposing goaltenders eight times with the Leafs.
Now we’ll have to see if Galchenyuk will be able to thread the needle soon for the first time since January 19. In fact, he had counted in the uniform of the Ottawa Senators at the expense of the Winnipeg Jets, the rivals of the Leafs, on Wednesday. But already, his work ethic seems to impress his new comrades.
“He is really passionate about hockey. He works extremely hard, he cares about what’s going on and he’s done well in the few games he’s played with us, ”Auston Matthews told Sports Illustrated magazine.
“He’s a very talented guy; obviously, he was drafted high for a reason, added Tavares of the 2012 amateur auction third overall pick. He makes great plays quickly. ”
Since leaving Montreal after the 2017-18 season, Galchenyuk has worn the uniforms of the Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, Senators and Leafs in the NHL. For this year, it has been traded twice in the space of as many days. Ottawa handed him over to the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 13 before a transfer to Toronto.
A stint with the Marlies in the American League gave the forward, who has eight points in six games for the Leafs school club, a new lease of life.