Stanislav Galiev is yet another Russian who will play for the Capitals in the near future. Galiev is a left wing, although the Capitals did have him taking faceoffs during
Development Camp this year, so a move to center might be in the future for him.
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’0″/188 pounds
PLAYING CAREER: Galiev was born in Moscow, Russia. In 2008, Galiev made a bold decision and decided to take his talents to the USHL (United States Hockey League, which is the top junior hockey league in the United States) in order to better prepare himself for an NHL career. After an extremely impressive rookie season in which he was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, he was the first overall pick of the CHL Import Draft, and was picked up by the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). He has since continued to impress, amassing 144 points in just 151 regular season games and an eye-popping 80 points in just 57 playoff games.
PLAYING STYLE: Galiev is an extremely talented playmaker. He’s not only a goal scorer, he’s also more than happy to share the puck with his linemates. All-around, he’s a force to be reckoned with on offense. Definitely has first line potential.
STRENGHTS: The best thing Galiev has going for him is his decision making. Not only is he creative, but he makes extremely quick (and usually right) decisions. When you combine those two attributes, Galiev can be extremely difficult to cover if he’s on his game. He’s a very good skater, and despite his average size, is very hard to play off the puck due to his great balance. He’s never going to challenge for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, but he should develop into a good enough scorer that teams have to respect his ability to score.
WEAKNESSES: Galiev has to work on finishing, especially if he wants to continue to be a wing (which is what he prefers to play). He shoots the puck quite a bit, but he doesn’t score as much as he should. If he works on his shot accuracy, he could emerge into a 30+ goal a year threat. He also has to improve on defense, as he can be a bit lazy while playing defense.
PLAYER WHO HE REMINDS ME OF: Zach Parise. Versatile scoring threat. Hopefully Galiev can improve his finishing enough to be as versatile as Parise. He certainly has the physical tools to do it.
ETA: 2013-2014. Galiev could be up as soon as this season, but I think he might need a year of seasoning in the AHL. The Capitals still have to figure out where they’re going to put him, and hope that he can at the very least improve his defense. He’s not too far off from being NHL ready. However, barring injury or significant development/improvement, Galiev should spend at least a good portion, if not all of, the 2012-2013 hockey season in Hershey. I wouldn’t rule anything out though because he will be invited to Caps Training Camp (whenever that may be).
Highlight video of Galiev: