This week’s prospect is no stranger to Caps fans. Many are wondering how the talented winger is adjusting to being sent back to the AHL, but as Stan and VP of Hockey Operations Bryan Helmer told me, everything is just fine.
Stan Galiev has bounced around within the organization since being drafted by the Washington Capitals in the third round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Moscow, Russia, was drafted 86th overall.
Galiev in warmups before the Nov. 12th game against Bridgeport – by Julie Beidler
The forward, who will turn 25 on January 17, joined the Hershey Bears during the 2012-2013 season, but spent a majority of the season with the Capital’s then-ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals, where he tallied 47 points in just 46 games and helped the Royals win the Kelly Cup.
The following year, Galiev appeared in only 30 games for the Royals and Bears, but finally spent a full season in Hershey in 2014-2015, which coincided with the hiring of Troy Mann. With Mann at the helm in Hershey, Galiev’s ice time increased as did his production. He scored 25 goals and added 20 assists in the regular season with one goal in Hershey’s brief Calder Cup Playoffs appearance.
Galiev skates past Francis Perron – by Julie Beidler
That year, Galiev appeared in two games for the Washington Capitals after Hershey’s quick exit. He made his debut on April 8, 2015 against the Boston Bruins and scored his first goal April 11, 2015 against the New York Rangers.
But breaking into the lineup in Washington proved to be a difficult task as he made the team for the 2015-2016 season, but appeared in only 24 games and was sent to Hershey for a five-game conditioning stint.
During that time in Hershey, it was obvious to even the casual hockey observer that the talented Russian had a skill set superior to the AHL as he scored three goals, but Washington was not willing to risk losing him to waivers and he returned to the Capitals and practiced.
After training camp, Barry Trotz decided to sneak Galiev through waivers and he cleared them to arrive back with the Bears, and he isn’t as upset about that as many may think.
In a question posed by a Twitter follower, I asked Stan if he would rather sit on the bench in Washington or get playing time in Hershey, he didn’t even hesitate. “Actually I’d choose to play a lot in Hershey for sure,” he said noting that he enjoys being around the Hershey fans.
Galiev in warm-ups against Bridgeport on October 22, 2016 – by Julie Beidler
But he does miss some things about Washington. “Probably, I’d say I miss the city of Washington,” he said. “It’s pretty nice and there are lots of great places to go on your off days and lots of great restaurants.”
He also misses fellow Russians Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. Kuznetsov is “a great guy and funny. I’ve known him since the National team. The same for Dmitry. We got drafted one year apart, so we were at the training camps all of the time and he was my roommate here for my first year in Hershey,” said Galiev.
But he also has other teammates in Hershey that he is happy to rejoin.
He didn’t want to upset anyone, but said that his favorite teammates in Hershey would have to be Nathan Walker, Christian Thomas, Jakub Vrana, and Garrett Mitchell. “Walker and Garrett I’ve known for a while. We played together here for a couple of seasons,” he said. “I’ve become good friends with Christian Thomas; we play on the same line, and Jakub, he’s a European guy, and you have to have somebody European on your team to be friends with.”
While he noted he tries to avoid the antics of Vrana and his fellow 20-year-old Czech teammate, Vitek Vanecek, he did laugh and note the two can be a little crazy, which can be a good way to lighten the mood, especially for someone like Galiev whose lack of game time last season set him back a little offensively.
“I was like get this monkey off my back,” he said about his inability to get a puck into the net right away this season.
He finally got his first goal November 5th in front of the Giant Center crowd against the Albany Devils. “It had been awhile since I scored, so it was a great feeling to get the goal,” he said.
Beaker checks on Galiev after a vicious hit into the boards in the Binghamton game – by Julie Beidler
Since then, he’s added a second goal and currently has five points in nine appearances this season.
Just the Facts
DOB: January 17, 1992
First AHL Goal: November 30, 2013 for Hershey against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
First NHL Goal: April 11, 2015 for Capitals against New York
First AHL Point: October 20, 2012 for Hershey against Rochester
First NHL Point: April 11, 2015 for Capitals against New York
He Said It
I sat down with Bryan Helmer, former coach and current VP of Hockey Operations in Hershey recently to ask about some of the prospects.
With Stan, I think last year not playing a lot hurt him. And I know he’s excited about being here. We’re excited that he is here. He was a big part of our team two years ago. He had a lot of goals, led our team in power play goals. He just hasn’t found his stride yet. With the lack of games last year, it hurts players. I know. I’ve been there. It’s tough. It’s almost like he took a step back in his development, but he’s excited about being here. He works hard in practice. He works on the little things and that’s how you get yourself back to where you want to be, and obviously he wants to get back to Washington or the NHL, so he’s got a good attitude. He’s a game-changer, along with Vrana is the same way – they’re both game changers. They just have to make sure that they’re working not just on the offensive part of their game, but on the defensive part and then the consistency too, they both have to work on that and they both have good attitudes and they’re both on the way and hopefully down the road, both of them will be in the NHL.
Last season during his conditioning stint, Troy Mann all but predicted Galiev’s predicament.
Unfortunately for him there’s some huge depth on the right side in Washington with Oshie, Williams, Wilson, and Burakovsky is playing there too because of the depth on the left side. I don’t see him as a fourth-line type of player. To put him in and give him six or seven minutes of ice time, you’re not going to see the true value of the player. He needs to get quality minutes because he is a highly skilled guy.
With Winnick holding down the fourth line spot this season on the right side, Burakovsky is back on the left, but for now, Galiev is just happy to shake off some of the rust and make a contribution on the ice during games.
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By Julie Beidler