(Photo credit: Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s Kyle Mace)
We here at RMNB celebrate everything Russian. That’s why I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not getting around to this post until a week later.
Last Saturday night in Hershey, Washington Capitals prospect Stan Galiev had a huge milestone: Stas scored his first American Hockey League goal.
GIF by welshhockeyfan
Playing against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Galiev ripped a one-timer past goaltender Jeff Deslauriers glove side. Thanks to that first period power play marker, Hershey beat the Baby Pens 3-2 in overtime despite being badly outshot.
“Gally, that was one of the reasons why we brought him back up here was to help our power play,” Hershey Bears head coach Mike Haviland told The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone after the game. “He certainly can shoot it. But I thought he played a good game, the kid. He’s competing. That’s what we’re asking him to do, and he has to do that in his career right now. The offensive side of it has always been a plus for him, but he needs to compete on every shift at 5-on-5.”
Galiev, who dominated in juniors (QMJHL), has always received a lot of attention from scouts and prospects sites for his above-average finishing ability. For example, before making his professional debut last season, Galiev was rated #29 overall on the Hockey Prospectus Top 100 Prospects list. Instead of sticking in Hershey last season, however, Galiev spent most of the season in the East Coast Hockey League’s Reading Royals working on his systems play. While there, he averaged a point-per-game (47 points in 46 games). He was also was a key player in the Royals’ championship run in the playoffs.
Over the offseason, Galiev and Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov trained hard with former teammate Semyon Varlamov in Dutch Country with renowned fitness guru Steve Saunders. Galiev carried that hard work over to the Capitals’ preseason, but still ended up in Reading at the beginning of the year.
After scoring five goals and having eight assists in the Royals’ first 14 games, Galiev earned a promotion to Hershey again. He has two points in three games.
The Caps system, which has a few high-end forward prospects like Evgeny Kuznetsov, Riley Barber, and Andre Burakovsky, could have its depth bolstered tremendously by Galiev if the Russian prospect can find his comfort level at five-on-five.
Hopefully, this goal is the beginning of bigger and better things for Stas this season.
Video of Galiev’s Goal
It’s at the 1:15 mark.