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Galchenyuk set for takeoff in Sarnia

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. He 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 2 assists in four 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. Galchenyuk has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hi everyone! My name is Alex Galchenyuk. I'm 17 years old and playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. I was born in Milwaukee and took my first steps on the ice when I was 18 months old.  

My family originally is from Russia, but since my dad was a hockey player we lived all over the world. He's been helping me and giving advice my whole life. My mom Inna and sister Anna have been very supportive as well. They all moved to Sarnia when I decided to play there.

This year, I had a very exciting summer. Our family spent some time in Moscow so I could pass my school exams, then we visited our grandparents, who live in Minsk, Belarus -- we had some good family time. Then we flew home to Sarnia and after training for a week there, me and my sister drove to Rochester, N.Y. for the Team USA U-18 camp. It was a dream come true to hear my name announced at the end of the week on the roster for the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

I trained hard with my father and my friends in Florida for two weeks and then it was time to fly out to Slovakia for the tournament with Team USA. I think going there and playing for USA was definitely the highlight of my summer. It was the first time I played internationally and I loved it. I got a chance to meet and be friends with a lot of great guys from the team and the whole coaching staff and USA Hockey organization. It was amazing. My sister was there to support me and my parents watched online. It was a great overall experience, even though going through some things was tough -- like when I played against Russia and my skateblade broke after the first period, I had to try playing in different skates and then finished the game playing in my coach's skates

I really hope I get called up to play for Team USA again and I will try to do much better next time.

I am very excited about this season with the Sarnia Sting. Our organization made a lot of changes during the summer, our coaching staff is excellent and we have a lot of new, talented faces on our team. I hope we have a successful season!

This season I want to do the best I can, play my game and have a shot at winning the Memorial Cup with the boys. Of course I'm really excited for the 2012 Entry Draft, but I try not to think about it too much now and really just focus on getting on the ice as soon as I can and having an effective and successful season with my team. So far it's been a tough start for me because I injured my knee in an exhibition game, so right now I've been going to therapy and training hard but I really hope to be out there with the boys soon.

I really want to win something with our team this year and I'll work hard and do everything I can to make that happen.
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