Alex Galchenyuk is a forward for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot, 198-pound forward was born in Milwaukee but is of Russian decent -- his father, Alexander, spent five of his 22 professional seasons playing in the U.S. Alex was the first pick of the 2010 OHL draft, and last season had 31 goals and 52 assists in 68 games. He had 2 goals and an assist in five games for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and returned to take part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Despite suffering a major knee injury that nearly ended his season before it really began, Galchenyuk has maintained a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft.
PITTSBURGH -- What a day it's been.
I slept pretty good last night, and today I woke up and had the weirdest feeling. It felt like I was playing my first game back from the injury -- the same kind of feeling.
Walking into the building on the red carpet, I felt like a movie star. That was a great experience. The NHL did a perfect job.
It was kind of an up and down feeling for me. I was kind of nervous but then I settled down. Then the teams started picking and I kind of got nervous again.
Hearing Yaki [Nail Yakupov] get picked first was great. He deserved it. He's a great friend of mine, and he's a great player. He deserved it a lot. I'm happy for him.
Then I was just sitting there. I didn't know what to expect. I was just sitting and waiting. Then when it was Montreal's turn, I didn't even hear my name called. I just heard Sarnia Sting and that was it. I just started hugging my parents and stuff. I was just so excited.
I was in my own zone walking down the stairs and up to the stage. It was just an unbelievable feeling. My heart was racing. I think the Commissioner said something to me, probably something like "Welcome to the NHL" and "Good job," but I don't really remember -- I was too excited.
Pulling that jersey over my head was unbelievable. They have the most tradition of any team in the NHL, they have the most Stanley Cups. It's an unbelievable feeling.
I'll just have some fun today and then get back to work tomorrow. There's a development camp to get ready for and we'll see where it goes from here. I know this is just the first step.
Follow Alex Galchenyuk on Twitter: @AGally94