Last season, 23-year-old Stan Galiev saw a meteoric leap in his development. The Russian forward, who has always had NHL quality stick-handling and finishing ability, saw the rest of his game finally come together last year in the AHL. Avoiding the injuries that have plagued him in the past, Gally scored 25 goals and 45 points in 65 games, jumping from Hershey’s fourth line to the first in the second half of the season. He even played two games for the Capitals, scoring his first NHL goal during the team’s final regular season game.
On July 1st, Galiev, a restricted free agent, signed a two-year, $1.15 million deal to keep him in Washington through 2017. Caps’ General Manager Brian MacLellan will give him every chance to make the roster next year.
“We’re going to give him a good shot,” MacLellan told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday. “We want to see his skill. We want to see a work ethic, speed. We had him up here for a short stint just to see what he could do last year and I thought he played really well. He scored a goal. He’s got good hands. He shoots the puck well. We’ll give him a number of exhibition games to show what he can do and, hopefully, he sticks up.”
Part of the reason why there’s so much urgency for Galiev to make the roster is because according to the Capitals’ Mike Vogel he must pass through waivers to be reassigned to the AHL next season.
Despite the Caps’ acquisitions of TJ Oshie and Justin Williams, the coaching staff will be integrating and continuing to develop a number of young players into the line-up next season.
MacLellan: Winning and developing coincide.
— Tim Leone (@timleone) July 11, 2015
Third-year pro Tom Wilson is expected to take on a larger role this season, which should ease the sting of Ward’s departure, especially if either Stanislav Galiev or Chris Brown can assume Wilson’s spot as the team’s fourth line right wing.
“We’ve got some guys who have put in some time development-wise [at AHL Hershey], and it’s going to be up to them to perform,” MacLellan said. “They’ll all have chances to make the roster.”
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