High Praise for Gallagher
Drawing a wave of cheers from the crowd on more than one occasion, Gallagher had his stick-work and speed on display Sunday morning for a hard fought matchup between Team A and C of the Habs’ training camp.
Gallagher not only swept in alone to beat Jarred Tinordi and Yannick Weber and score on a great individual effort, but also assisted on his team’s game-winning goal in game’s final minute – a performance that caught the eye of Habs head coach, Jacques Martin.
“Gallagher has really been showing us that he’s working with a lot of talent, and is capable of playing with a high level of intensity,” praised Martin of the 19-year-old forward. “We know he had a great season last year with the Vancouver Giants, and he had a really good camp this year with Team Canada’s World Junior team. He’s showing the organization that while he’s not a big player, he has a big heart; he goes to the net, he’s not afraid, and he’s got great hands.”
“You’re thrilled to see one of your young prospects developing like that. In the year-and-a-half that he’s been part of this organization he’s proven that he has a lot of character and a lot of determination. He reminds me in that way of Brian Gionta,” added Martin.
Humble as always, Gallagher was still clearly pleased when the compliments the Canadiens’ head coach had paid him were mentioned later that day.
“That’s a really high compliment, and he’s obviously an amazing player,” expressed the B.C. native, who racked up 91 points – 44 of them goals – over 66 games in his last season with the WHL’s Giants. “It’s so great to have the chance to be around guys like Gionta this week and be able to learn from him and the things that he does off the ice as well as on it. There are a lot of great role models for me on this team.”
“Of course it’s a long-shot to make the team, but the goal really is just to stay here as long as possible and impress as many people as you can and hope you earn a contract. I’m really happy with the way things have gone so far, but there obviously still a lot of work ahead and I’m looking forward to it.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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