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Galchenyuk: A week I'll never forget

by Alex Galchenyuk

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 that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

It's been a good week for me here at the Scouting Combine. When I arrived in the hotel I didn't know what to expect. I thought it would be like the Research and Development camp. But I expected more media, more scouts, more people, and that's what happened.

Since I didn't know what to expect from the NHL teams, I was a little nervous in the interviews. I think my first interview wasn't my best one. Then I got comfortable and I wanted to make sure they knew what kind of person I am and what kind of personality I have and I think I did that well.

Today I had the testing, and that was really different. When I walked into the room, the first thing I thought was, "Oh my god." So many media and they're just starting at you. You feel awkward a little bit, but then you see the things you've seen the before, like the bench press, the bikes. So you feel like, "OK, I know what this is," and just get in and perform.

All the tests are things I've done before, but I didn't do those things in one workout. It's stuff I've done, but once a year for the testing for your achievement back in Sarnia. It was a little different but I knew what was going on.

The bike tests at the end were really tough. You might think it's strange to have them duct tape your feet to the pedals or have them scream in your face, but I'm glad they did. I was actually wanting them to tape me in and I'm happy they did. You don't want to lose any seconds or power because your feet are moving. And my dad screams all the time at me to push me, so I got used to that. It was good. I like that they take the time and help me get better.

It was hard, but I'm a competitive person. I want to give everything out. On the Wingate I gave 100 percent, same on the VO2 -- 100 percent. I feel really relieved and happy about myself right now.

The VO2 test was a new thing for me. They put the thing in your mouth and close your nose with their fingers. I don't really like tight spaces, and you know when someone holds your nose you almost feel like you're dying, but I got used to it and it was good.

I'm not sure how I did on any one test, or if I did well or not. But I don't think it's the results 100 percent, that teams look for. It's how you give everything out. I know I gave everything out there. But we'll see what happens on June 22.

I'm heading home now, but I want to thank the NHL for the hospitality and for making this event so comfortable for the players. The hotel has been great, the teams have been nice and it's just an unbelievable experience. I'll remember this for the rest of my life, for sure.
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