It’s getting to be decision time for NHL teams boasting junior-age players on their rosters. In this shortened season, junior-aged players are allowed to play five games as sort of a trial period and then can be returned to their junior clubs, thus delaying the start of their entry-level contracts by a season. Some teams may exercise the right of return in this situation, but don’t count the Montreal Canadiens among those ranks.
The Habs have decided to retain Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher on their lineup. In the case of Galchenyuk, that’s a great idea for a club that went through some pretty rough times last season. He already has a gold medal in his trophy cabinet from playing with Team USA at the 2013 World Junior tournament, plus he scored his first NHL goal in his second game played. Coach Michel Therrien has been impressed with Galchenyuk’s game so far, but stressed how important it is to develop young talents properly.
His decision to keep Galchenyuk was not influenced by the fact that Max Pacioretty had to have an emergency appendectomy and could be out of commission for a month.
Montreal’s other young gun, Gallagher, is also going to stay in the show for now. His first NHL goal, scored yesterday, was actually thanks to a pass from Galchenyuk. The two of them have been on a line with another newcomer to Montreal, Brandon Prust, who praised his rookie lineys.
“These guys are working their butts off trying to earn spots in the NHL, and they’re doing a good job of it,” he said.
Meanwhile in Minnesota, the Minnesota Wild decided to send Matt Dumba back to the Red Deer Rebels. He hadn’t dressed for any of the Wild’s games so far this season, but was on the active roster. Coach Mike Yeo did praise his skating, defending and hustle to prove himself to the big-time team. However, it just wasn’t enough to keep him around for now and so he’s going back to Alberta.
Galchenyuk and Dumba were both picked high up in the first round of the 2012 NHL draft. Gallagher was a selection of the later rounds in the 2010 draft.