Maple Leafs' Alex Galchenyuk Benefited 'In Every Way' by Working With Development Staff

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Galchenyuk says he "gives a lot of credit" to the organization for helping him get to the point where he may see his debut with the club sometime soon.
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The Toronto Maple Leafs took a different approach when they acquired forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Waiting until after he had cleared waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs pulled the trigger on a deal that acquired the former 30-goal scorer in exchange for forward  Egor Korshkov and defenseman David Warsofsky.

That allowed the Leafs the flexibility of being with the team's taxi squad or with the Toronto Marlies while using the full service of the team's development staff to rebuild the forward.

"I have to give a lot of credit to the organization (for) the time they put to work on me and get my game back to where it needs to be," Galchenyuk said.

The third overall pick from the 2012 NHL Draft took part in practice on the team's second line with forwards John Tavares and William Nylander.

"He's obviously a talented offensively, can make plays and finish plays in and around the net," Tavares said of Galchenyuk. "A big part of my role is trying to make him feel comfortable and get him to play to his potential and making him better by me doing a good job."

With two days of practice, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe wanted to take advantage of the time his team has to work on their game ahead of back-to-backs against the Calgary Flames on Friday and Saturday.

"We think he's a guy who can produce offense if he gets an opportunity to score, he can do that, he can also make plays," Keefe said of Galchenyuk. "The thing I've been most impressed with from what I've observed both in watching some of his recent video and now getting the feedback gotten to know him more as a person in terms of how he's handled himself with the (Toronto) Marlies and his time to rebuild himself, if you will

"He's just been terrific in those areas, he's worked hard. He's been very humble about going down for guidance having never played in the American Hockey League, to go down and work the way that he has."

There's not indication of when Galchenyuk may make his team debut, but his status on the taxi squad helps the team with asset and salary cap management.

Once Galchenyuk plays is first game with the Leafs, he'll still be waiver exempt for 10 games or 30 days. They can move him back and forth until he crosses the mentioned parameters. This was key when the team acquired him on Feb. 15. Had they claimed the forward off waivers when eligible, he'd have to stay on the team's active roster and then he'd be subject to waivers if the team wanted to move him down.

Galchenyuk scored two goals and six assists in six games with the Marlies.



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