Galchenyuk on global road to NHL

Updated: July 26, 2011, 4:25 PM ET
By Gare Joyce

Sarnia, Ontario, sits right by the U.S. border, across the bridge from Port Huron, Michigan. It's a fitting place for Alex Galchenyuk to play major junior hockey.

He has spent all of his young life crossing borders.

Alex lists his birthplace as Sarnia, Ont., but Russian is his first language.

His father, also named Alexander, was a professional who came up through the Moscow Dynamo system but played for Belarus in the Olympics. Alexander the father bounced around the North American minors (Madison, Milwaukee and K-zoo) for five years, which explains how Alex happened to be born in North America.

The Galchenyuk family has split time between Russia and North America since Alex's father's career wound down in '03. A couple of years ago Alex signed on with a team in the minor-hockey system in Chicago and lit up the league, so much so that he was an easy first-overall pick in the 2010 OHL entry draft. The team that owned his rights just happened to be situated in the city of his birth: Sarnia.

Alex says that, going forward, he'd like to represent the U.S. in international play. He meets the citizenship requirement and is on the roster of the U.S. team playing in the Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August.