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 could end his season before it really starts, Galchenyuk has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
I got some good news this month -- I have been officially cleared by my doctors to skate, so of course I’m thrilled about that. I am skating mostly every day now, getting closer and closer to full recovery. Most of my time is now spent in the gym and on the ice, since I need less physical therapy and more of actual training. We've been driving to London mostly just for check-ups with my doctors and I skate there so they can actually see how my progress is going on the ice. In Sarnia I still go to see Dr. John Vargo 1-2 times a week, he’s been helping me out a lot. I think that if I keep skating and working out the way I do right now, I will soon be very close to the point where I was before all of this happened. I’m definitely feeling better and more comfortable every day. A couple of times I was even out with my team and did some 1-on-0 drills. I guess at this point every single detail is very special and I get excited about it, so I’m happy to share all of this with you guys.
I get asked a lot if I'm going to come back and play in March or not. Of course I want to, and I'm doing everything possible for it right now and everything I'm allowed to do, pushing myself a little harder each day -- that's my goal right now and I'm hoping it's possible, but I also want to be 100-percent ready. I'm not settling down for 50 percent, because if I do get to play some games in the regular season I want to put all my effort in them. I've been waiting for a long time and don't want to make any mistakes at this point and rush it.
Overall, I'm very optimistic at this moment. I had to go through a lot, I had a lot of time to think. I try to set goals for myself waking up every day and I fight to accomplish them and try to set the bar a little higher as I do. It's a full-time routine that you have to go through and literally compete against yourself to make yourself better. I can totally say it's made me stronger in every way.
The CHL Top Prospects game was at the end of last month. Congratulations to all the guys that got chosen. I really wish I could have been a part of it, but it's life and unfortunately a lot of us had to miss out this year. I think it's a great honor for players to be picked to take part in the All-Star-type prospects games, because you get a chance to play with the best against the best. It always turns out to be very competitive and fun at the same time.
I also watched the NHL All Star Game, and thought the Super Kane show at the skills competition was pretty awesome. The highlight of the month I think was Sam Gagner with his eight points in a game, and he's been great ever since. It's kind of cool because we are both with Pulver Sports and I got to meet him at the BioSteel camp two years ago and he's a really nice guy. We recently went to Detroit with my dad and Nail Yakupov to watch the Red Wings-Oilers game, which we enjoyed watching, too.
Anyway, that's my update for now. I just realized that the next time I will be reporting to you guys I might be preparing for my first game and that thought just got me totally pumped and excited.
As always I'm really thankful for all the support I get from my family and friends, and thanks for the support on Twitter from all my fans (@AGally94). It's been amazing.