NHL Mock Draft 2012: New York Islanders Select Alex Galchenyuk With No. 4 Pick

With the fourth pick in SB Nation's 2012 NHL Mock Draft, our New York Islanders delegation at Lighthouse Hockey selects Alex Galchenyuk, a center from the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.

Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

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Courtesy: Ontario Hockey League

Galchenyuk's a forward, and for the Islanders, this pick was a decision between an offensive player and a defensive player in Ryan Murray. Defensemen are harder to predict as they take much longer to develop than forwards, generally speaking, and that's a major reason why Lighthouse Hockey went with Galchenyuk.

At #4, it's not about filling a need -- not even a long-term talent depth need. It's about grabbing the player you think has the best chance of being a very good difference-maker. You can adjust depth disparities later; it's always easier to do that when you have the highest-quality assets possible.

Murray is a favorite among many readers here, and the other promising defensemen like Matthew Dumba, Jacob Trouba and Morgan Rielly have drawn attention. But for my money, if Galchenyuk is left on the board at #4, it's an easy decision.

See more on Galchenyuk with draft profiles from Hockey Wilderness and The Cannon.

Follow along with our 2012 NHL Mock Draft in this StoryStream. Stick with SBNation.comand our network of hockey blogs for full coverage of the 2012 NHL Draft.

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