Forward Alex Galchenyuk is nearing a Toronto Maple Leafs debut. Toronto recalled Galchenyuk from the AHL Marlies just before Wednesday’s session began, after the Maple Leafs lost Jimmy Vesey on waivers to the Vancouver Canucks.
On Thursday, he landed the same spot as yesterday on the second line of the Maple Leafs, skating with captain John Tavares and William Nylander.
This could be his chance to show he can be a winner option for the Leafs next to Tavares.
Galchenyuk signed as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators in Oct. 2020, only to be traded once again on Feb. 13 to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes subsequently placed Galchenyuk on waivers, then orchestrated a trade that sent him to Toronto for Yegor Korshkov and David Warsofsky after he cleared the wire.
The veteran Galchenyuk has played 557 NHL games, with 136 goals and 321 points on his record, but the Leafs didn’t need him and he remained down in the AHL. He has played for the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild and Senators even since he was selected third overall back in 2012 by the Habs.
Now is the time to shine.
“I’m happy that I kept progressing with each game,” Galchenyuk said of his AHL play. “It keeps getting better and better. I played a lot of ice time, played in a lot of different situations, and I haven’t done that in a year or so. To go down there and find my game and to bring it here, that was huge for me.”
The Leafs face the Calgary Flames on Friday and Saturday, and Galchenyuk eyes his opportunity to make himself irreplaceable.