NHL Draft 2012: Alex Galchenyuk An Injury Risk?

June 21, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Alex Galchenyuk (left) is interviewed by fellow prospect Nail Yakupov (right) during the top prospects press conference in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft on board the Gateway Clipper Fleet. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Alex Galchenyuk suffered through injury this past season with the Sarnia Sting, but he's still expected to go early in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Draft prospects in every sport are put through rigorous testing, both for their physical abilities and off-ice traits. They can be red-flagged for a variety of reasons.

One of those reasons is a history of injury.

In the case of Sarnia Sting (OHL) forward Alex Galchenyuk, it doesn't appear that a serious knee injury the fall before his draft year has seriously affected his stock.

That should speak wonders to the kind of talent we're talking about here.

Alex Galchenyuk

Position: Center
2010-11 Team: Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190
Born: February 12, 1994

2011-12 Regular Season
GP G A P +/- PIM
Sarnia Sting 2 0 0 0 -4 0

Galchenyuk's background is interesting. His father was playing minor-league hockey when he was born in Milwaukee. Alex ended up moving all over the place during his childhood, bouncing around enough that he can fluently speak English, Russian and Italian.

His international eligibility -- he's said he wants to play for Team USA -- is somewhat cloudy, but a recent move by the IIHF seems to indicate Galchenyuk will be able to suit up for the United States.

Meanwhile, his knee injury is the only thing standing in the way of a top-five selection Friday night. Galchenyuk is capable of playing a strong two-way game, and he is as good a scoring prospect as anyone in this draft.

Yes, there's an injury risk with Galchenyuk, but it's a risk worth taking when you look at the talent he possesses.

Stick with SB Nation's 2012 NHL Draft hub for full coverage of the event from Pittsburgh. Be sure to check with our network of hockey blogs for draft coverage from a team perspective.

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