NHL 2010 Top Draft Prospects: Stanislav Galiev

There have been many complaints regarding the CHL’s rule of not allowing 16-year-old imports to play in their league. The annual import draft allows CHL teams to haveup to two foreign players on their roster, assuming they are at least 17 years old.

Well, the Saint John Sea Dogs are not complaining anymore, as with the first pick in 2009 CHL Import Draft, the Sea Dogs drafted Stanislav Galiev, a 6-foot-1, 177-pound forward from Moscow, Russia.

“He’s a really crafty player,” Sports Illustrated says. “Strong on his feet and really creative with the puck. He’s having trouble finishing right now, but he’s piling up points with his playmaking skills.”

Galiev dominated the United States Hockey League in the 2008-09 season, while playing with the Indiana Ice. He put up 64 points in 60 games, a number that had many NHL and CHL scouts salivating.

In his rookie season with the Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League,Galiev continued his hot streak, scoring 60 points in 67 games, a number that includes 45 assists.

“Galiev is a dynamic forward with a lot of offensive flare, much like the other high end Russians available in this crop,” TheScoutingReport.org says. “He’s a little inconsistent right now and needs to do a better job of capitalizing on his chances, but there is no doubt that the talent is there. The other thing that is good to see withGaliev is that he obviously has the desire to play in the NHL which is something that scouts will like to see and should alleviate any concerns of the ‘Russian Factor’.”

The young Russian was ranked 23rd in the midterm by Central Scouting, but his stock rose over the second half of the season, as he rose up to the 20th spot on their list. Many scouts, however, believe that he could even be drafted in the top 15. NHL.com’s analysts, though, have Galiev going anywhere from 23rd overall to someplace in the middle of the second round.

There are a few questions surrounding him, including the major question that comes out whenever a hot Russian prospect is declaring for the draft: does he truly have the desire to play in the NHL? Some scouts think so, while others believe he is not as committed.

Though he still must get a bit bigger if he hopes to succeed in the NHL, Galiev is a fast, skilled center who plays the classic Russian game. Any NHL team taking Galiev will most likely be happy they’ve done so.

Alan Bass is a writer for The Hockey News and THN.com. In addition to writing for Inside Hockey and Pro Hockey News, he has also worked for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is the General Manager of the Muhlenberg College hockey team as well. You can contact him at BergHockey24@gmail.com.

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