Friday, June 22, 2012.
It's a date that Marc Bergevin had to have had circled on his calendar right from the day he officially became the Montreal Canadiens' GM.
After all, Montreal did finish 28th this past season, something that Habs fans don't tend to accept willingly.
Needless to say, the pressure on the newly appointed Canadiens GM was already mounting to use their third overall pick effectively.
Luckily for Canadiens fans, Bergevin made perfect use of Montreal's first-round pick, taking Sarnia Sting centerman Alex Galchenyuk.
In a draft that was loaded with young, talented defensemen, Bergevin could have easily opted for Griffin Reinhart or Morgan Rielly.
Recognizing the Habs' major need of scoring, however, was Bergevin's first major success as GM.
With very little offensive firepower in Montreal (a rejuvenated Max Pacioretty and aging Erik Cole are not quite enough to turn a team into contenders), the only other player who shows more promise was Nail Yakupov, who was taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers.
While Galchenyuk will more than likely need another year of seasoning in the OHL, he has shown the potential to be a top-line center, which would allow the Canadiens to use Tomas Plekanec on the second line, where he is better suited to play.
Who do you think the Canadiens should have taken with the 3rd overall pick?
As for Galchenyuk himself, eliteprospects.com lists him as a dependable two-way center with excellent hands and skating ability as well as a constant scoring threat.
Despite the fact that he missed all of last season in Sarnia, Galchenyuk showed that he has fully recovered from his torn ACL by notching four points in six playoff games for the Sting and then putting on an incredible display at the NHL combine.
In one of hockey's most passionate and intense markets, Bergevin will need to continue to make decisions like this in order to keep a ravenous fanbase at bay.
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