NHL Draft Combine 2012: Alex Galchenyuk and Players Whose Stocks Are Soaring

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NHL Draft Combine 2012: Alex Galchenyuk and Players Whose Stocks Are Soaring
Photo credit: WGR550.com

Sarnia forward Alex Galchenyuk wowed scouts and proved his ACL injury is behind him by posting a top mark in the anaerobic fitness, peak power output test at the 2012 NHL Draft Combine.

Galchenyuk was already considered to be one of this year's top prospects, even after he tore his ACL, but his combine performance sent his stock soaring. It wouldn't surprise me if he went in the top three.

The anaerobic fitness, peak power output test is designed to measure, "how explosive a skater is," according to NHL.com, who also says that, "his [Galchenyuk] high peak output could be the difference in gaining 2-3 strides on a defenseman on a breakaway."

He had scouts dreaming about his potential before his injury forced him into recovery. Here is an excerpt from TSN.ca writer Grant McCagg's scouting report:

Strengths: A big, power-forward type winger with soft hands who is good along the wall, has soft hands and can shoot the puck.

Weaknesses: He has missed his entire draft year with a knee injury, so there has been a decided lack of exposure. Teams may be concerned with how he bounces back from the injury.

Teams who may have been worried before need not worry now. Galchenyuk is back, and it appears he is stronger than ever before.

He's not the only player whose stock is soaring after a strong combine, though. 

Here are two more players whose strong combine performances sent their stock soaring.

 

Hampus Lindholm, Defender, Rogle 

Photo credit: allhabs.com

Lindholm dominated the VO2 Max test duration, staying on the endurance bike for 14 minutes and 40 seconds—over a minute longer than the next-best competitor. 

SportsMedicine.About.com tells us, "This measurement is generally considered the best indicator of an athlete's cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance."

It's imperative that hockey players are in phenomenal physical shape if they hope to succeed at the highest levels. Not only does this test tell scouts that Lindholm is going to be fresh at the end of the third period, it also tells them that he's dedicated to keeping his body in shape.

Teams love players that they don't have to motivate and Lindholm's performance at this year's combine above all proves that he has the discipline and drive to be the best player he can be.

Before the combine, Lindholm was being looked at as a mid-to-late first-round pick. His combine performance is going to send him into the top half of the draft—a huge boost.

 

Henrik Samuelsson, Center/Right Wing, Edmonton

Photo credit: EdmontonJournal.com

Samuelsson's father, Ulf Samuelsson, was a contributing member of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning teams of 1991 and 1992. He plays a bit like his father used to, as well, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Samuelsson's biggest question mark heading into the draft has more to do with maturity rather than physical abilities, as he's been known to make bone-headed penalties that have cost him four suspensions, according to the report.

Scouts may be willing to overlook his past mistakes after he posted the third-best time in the VO2 Max test duration—staying on the endurance bike for 13 minutes and 25 seconds, according to NHL.com.

Samuelsson has been hovering right around the top of the second round in many mock drafts, but teams won't be able to resist drafting a player with a nasty disposition and a stellar work ethic. They will convince themselves that they can control the young man and will take a gamble on his raw potential.

 

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