24-Year-Old Right Wing – Montreal Canadiens
Brendan Gallagher Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $22.5 million contract extension with the Canadiens in November of 2014.
Gallagher returned to the lineup Sunday after missing 19 games with a broken hand. He had two shots and four hits over 11:06 of ice time in a 4-0 loss to the Bruins.
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Brendan Gallagher: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While Gallagher set new career bests in goals (24) and assists (23) along with shots (254) and plus/minus (plus-18) last year, he still hasn't matched his scoring rate from the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign in either of the two seasons since, and he hasn't been terribly effective on the power play, either. At age 23, he could still see another jump in productivity, but the 5-foot-9 Gallagher is probably miscast as a top-line winger -- he's better suited for a second-line role, as he isn't likely to approach the scoring level achieved by other diminutive players like Martin St. Louis. Nonetheless, he's by far the best talent the Canadiens have on the right wing, so he's on track to skate next to with fellow first-liners Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec once again as he aims to clear 50 points for the first time.
Gallagher continued to develop in his second season, posting 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 81 games while seeing a lot of action on Montreal's top line. He followed that up with 11 points in 17 playoff games. The young forward has emerged as one of the Habs' top goal scorers. There's no reason he should be moved off the top line, so we're expecting a modest increase in playing time and points.
Gallagher began the season as the less heralded prospect to Alex Galchenyuk, but made the bigger impact of the two rookies for Montreal over the course of the 2012-13 season. He ended up skating on the first line and finished tied for the team lead in goals (15) with Max Pacioretty. He didn't get any bigger between his final junior season and rookie professional one, but that didn't stop the 5-8 Gallagher from playing in the dirty areas and contributing some big goals as the direct result of his relentless work in the offensive zone. We suspect more ice time in his second season and expectations are raised.
Gallagher finished off his second straight season with over 40 goals for the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. The undersized winger is relentless in the offensive zone and doesn't let his lack of size prevent him from mixing it up. One knock against him is foot speed, but he's handled the pace during the preseason.