Photo credit: sports.ru

The last time we caught up with Caps prospect Stan Galiev, he was rehabbing a wrist injury and showing RMNB some exclusive photos of his new championship ring. Hopefully that wrist has fully healed, because it must now bear the burden of another gaudy ring: the Saint John Sea Dogs have won the QMJHL championship for the second year in a row.

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Stan is given his ring during “Night of Champions.” (Photo via sashastolemyheart)

Last year, the Saint John Sea Dogs were unstoppable. Led by Jonathan Huberdeau, Zack Phillips, Tomas Jurco, and Nathan Beaulieu — top prospects all of whom were selected in the top 35 of the 2011 NHL Draft — the Sea Dogs ripped off an insane 77-11 record capturing both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Presidents Cup and the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup. Saint John — who joined the QMJHL as an expansion team just six years ago — became the first organization from Canada’s Maritimes region to win the most coveted prize in Junior Hockey.

The Sea Dogs new championship banners. (Photo credit: saintjohnseadogs.com)

On October 29th, the club celebrated their two titles by hosting a “Night of Champions” at Harbour Station. In front of an announced crowd of 5,888, the Sea Dogs raised their championship banners and handed out 67 rings to players and management.

Each ring, which Team president Wayne Long estimated cost the club around a thousand dollars apiece, is personalized with the player’s name and number and feature their 77-11 record on one side and their “Leave No Doubt” slogan on the other. 23 blue stones are encrusted on the top and four clear diamonds are planted on the side.

Caps prospect Stanislav Galiev — who scored 48 goals in 88 games and averaged well over a point per game during Saint John’s Championship run — was impressed with his new bling.

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Last year, I profiled three Russians that I thought the Capitals might consider drafting at pick number twenty six of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, and Maxim Kitsyn. Two of those three players were actually selected by the team: Kuznetsov in the first round and Galiev in the third. This year, I want to see if I can work my magic again.

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft, set to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, June 24th and Saturday, June 25th, will see the Capitals picking 26th for the second year in a row. Since this year’s draft pool is weak and lacks what George McPhee calls “real difference makers,” I will be focusing on four prospects who are somehow connected to the Capitals.

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Stanislav Galiev

Stanislav Galiev celebrates his first career Memorial Cup goal (Photo: Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

By all accounts Stanislav Galiev has had a good year. On June 26, 2010, the 18-year-old Russian sniper was selected by his favorite NHL team, the Washington Capitals, in the third round of the 2010 Draft. Shortly thereafter, he attended Caps Development Camp — where he impressed many by being one of the fastest and most exciting players on the KCI ice.

After taking a short break, Galiev returned to his junior team, the Saint John Sea Dogs, in the fall. The talented Sea Dogs were coming off a 2009-10 season in which they started the campaign with a 22-game winning streak (from October 17 until December 12) and made it to the QMJHL Finals. To the surprise of no one, the squad continued its dominance in 2010-11, relying on Galiev’s play-making (37 goals, 28 assists) and the development of four potential first round picks in the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft: Jonathan Huberdeau (top five), Nathan Beaulieu (top 15), Zack Phillips and Tomas Jurco.

Saint John racked up an insane 58-7-3 record in the regular season and lost just three of 19 games on the way to capturing their first QMJHL Championship in franchise history. Notably, Galiev finished in the top five of postseason scoring, notching 27 points (10 G, 17 A). The team’s winning ways have continued in the Memorial Cup, as the Sea Dogs won their first two games of the tournament and earned a bye to the finals which are set to begin Sunday.

Several Russia media members have spoke with the Caps prospect over the past week. RMNB’s Igor Kleyner and Fedor Fedin offer the translations.

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