Stanislav Galiev and his mom have the NHL set in their sights
Call me a bit biased, but there is no better wisdom than a mother’s. And it could be that very wisdom that makes Stanislav Galiev the best Russian a team could place their pick on this draft.
While other picks are surrounded by drama and uncertainty, Galiev has been quietly absent from controversy. He doesn’t have a strong willed father or an uncontrolled ego. Instead, he has his widowed mother who has been protective while promoting what she thinks is best for her son. She moved to the US after Stanislav’s first year here, then to Canada when he was drafted by the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
Both she and Stanislav have been very clear that his ultimate goal is the NHL, something that is strongly supported by his move to play in the USHL at only 16 years of age. No games, no posturing: Just honest sentiments from a family who has many reasons to want to live in the United States. It’s good both for mom and son – Stanislav, who can play in a league that suits his North American style, and for his mom as the quality of life for a single woman is by far superior in North America.
On the playing front, Galiev may not be as big as Burmistrov, may not have as much flair as Tarasenko or may not have the touted talent of Kabanov, but he isn’t far behind in any of those categories. Best known for his creative play and intelligence on the ice, Stanislav models himself after Alexander Semin. His style of play, strength and power all lend himself to such comparisons. However, most scouts have noted his exception defensive play, leading them to comparisons to Pavel Datsyuk. Although he’s still physically young, needing to fill out, he’ll do so naturally as he progresses as an athlete. With his talent and potential, there’s no rush as his 6’1” frame will gain the necessary mass.
Playing in the shadow of Burmistrov, many people will be surprised to find that he’s ranked just eight spots behind his fellow Russian in the North American rankings at 20th and will most likely go in the first round. His steady play, natural talent and gregarious and easy-going personality have placed him higher than many people had initially anticipated. Yet make no bones about it, this kid is incredibly talented and is maturing as a player every day, having the potential to be one of the best in the best league in the world.
So while this somewhat dark horse of a draft pick, like all Russians, is no guarantee to stay in North America and play in the NHL, if he listens to his mom, chances are pretty darn good.
Photo: Stanislav Galiev at Indy.com.