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Montreal won’t pull Galchenyuk from World Juniors if lockout ends

Dec 20, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Galchenyuk Habs

One of Team USA’s best forwards will be at the 2013 World Junior tournament for the long haul.

That’s the word out of Montreal on Thursday — La Presse reports Habs GM Marc Bergevin told USA Hockey’s Jim Johansson he wouldn’t pull Alex Galchenyuk off the American team should the NHL lockout end.

The World Junior tournament runs through Jan. 5.

Galchenyuk, 18, was taken third overall by Montreal at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and has been on a tear for OHL Sarnia this season, ranking second in the league in points (61) and tied for first in goals (27).

He’s pegged to be a major offensive star at the upcoming tourney in Ufa, Russia — that said, he’s also been pegged as a candidate to make Montreal’s opening-day roster.

(Should there be an opening day, of course.)

In August, Bergevin said it would be “difficult” for Galchenyuk to make the NHL this year — largely because he missed almost all of last season with a torn ACL — but the prized rookie would be given an invite to training camp.

Of course, Bergevin said this prior to Galchenyuk tearing apart the Ontario League.

In his last game with Sarnia prior to joining the American team, “Gally” scored five points (including a hat trick) in a win over Kingston, leading some to speculate that — if the NHL resumes action soon — Galchenyuk might have played his final game at the junior level.

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