If you think Canadiens rookie Brendan Gallagher is small now, you should have seen him in bantam hockey.
Gallagher was only 5-foot-3 in 2007 when the Vancouver Giants selected him in the ninth round of the Western Hockey League draft. His father, Ian, told The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell he was probably the smallest player in the draft.
Gallagher is now all grown up – at 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds – and the 20-year-old has delighted Habs fans with his tenacious style of play and drive to the net after being a fifth-round pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft. In 19 games, Gallagher has 6-7-13 totals and is tied with Brandon Prust for the team lead in plus/minus at plus-10.
“The thing with Brendan, he’s played the same way at every level,” Don Hay, coach of the Vancouver Giants, the major-junior team that Gallagher played with for four years, told The Gazette’s Branswell.
“When he was a peewee, he played the same way and then people would say: ‘Well, he can’t do that in bantam,’ and then ‘he won’t be able to do that in midget,’ and then ‘I don’t think he can do that in juniors and then ‘can he do it in the NHL?’
“He’s just proved people wrong all the time.”
Gallagher and the Canadiens are back in action Thursday night when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, TSN 690 Radio). Canadiens coach Michel Therrien skipped Thursday’s morning skate due to an intestine infection, but is expected to be behind the bench for the game.
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)