Brendan Gallagher
Brendan Gallagher
26-Year-Old Right WingRW
Montreal Canadiens
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Gallagher rebounded from a career-worst season in 2016-17 to have his best in 2017-18. In retrospect, injuries have played a bigger role than we originally suspected. The 25-year-old missed 47 games over two seasons due to hand injuries. Health should be a concern as the 5-foot-9 forward spends a lot of time in front of the net, jostled by bigger defensemen. Good health last season made a huge difference; Gallagher played a full 82-game schedule for the first time since 2014-15 and posted a team-high 54 points (36 at even strength), and 31 goals, his first 30-goal campaign. Gallagher's breakout was remarkable considering he skated for the league's 29th-ranked offense. The team's offensive failings took its toll on others, but not Gallagher. The Habs didn't do much to improve the offense in the offseason, so Gallagher may be asked to carry the load again in 2018-19. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $22.5 million contract extension with the Canadiens in November of 2014.
Continues scoring binge
RWMontreal Canadiens
January 16, 2019
Gallagher scored an empty-net goal in Tuesday's 5-1 win over the Panthers.
Gallagher went eight games without scoring before going on a binge that's seen him log goals in four of the last five games. The recent scoring run puts him back on pace to reach 30 goals for a second straight season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Gallagher dropped off the map in 2016-17, registering just 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) over 64 games, and hitting that mark even required a late-season run consisting of 13 points over the final 20 games. Gallagher was still firing pucks at the net, finishing second on the club with 187 shots, but he scored on just 5.3 percent of them after converting a 10.6-percent clip over his first four campaigns. While the 5-foot-9 forward plays larger than his size, staying healthy will be key, as he’s missed 47 games due to injuries over the past two years. The Canadiens have been perpetually buoyed by an average offensive output, so the onus will be on Gallagher to thrive in the attacking zone and compensate for the team losing Alexander Radulov to Dallas in free agency. There’s a moderate degree of risk in drafting Gallagher, but he’s proven to be an effective winger option when healthy.
Gallagher topped the 40-point mark for a third consecutive season in 2015-16, scoring 19 goals and assisting on 21 others. But we’re left wondering what could have been if not for injuries. His season was limited to 53 games by broken fingers and a groin ailment. While missing Gallagher didn’t quite have the disastrous effect of Carey Price’s season-ending knee injury in Montreal, missing the energetic winger in the lineup had a similarly deleterious effect. When on the ice, he was the Habs’ second-most-productive forward, averaging .75 points per game while finishing third with seven power-play goals. He’s a driver of offense who plays well with any linemate, something that gives head coach Michel Therrien flexibility when he’s looking to spark the lineup. Gallagher showed chemistry with Tomas Plekanec on the second line last season, but was also part of the team’s top unit with Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk at season’s end. Wherever in the top-six he lands, Gallagher will be an important piece of Montreal’s offense.
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.
More Fantasy News
Scores lone goal for Habs
RWMontreal Canadiens
January 11, 2019
Gallagher scored a power-play goal and had six shots on net in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Blues.
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Finds goal column in win
RWMontreal Canadiens
January 9, 2019
Gallagher scored a goal in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Red Wings.
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Will play Saturday
RWMontreal Canadiens
January 5, 2019
Gallagher took a therapy day and did not practice Friday, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports.
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Leaves game briefly
RWMontreal Canadiens
January 4, 2019
Gallagher skated to the dressing room during the first period of Thursday's game against Vancouver after getting hit on the right hand with a shot he blocked, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports.
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Positive rating in return
RWMontreal Canadiens
December 28, 2018
Gallagher didn't let an illness prevent him from suiting up against the Panthers on Friday. He went plus-2 over 17:02 of ice time in the 5-3 road win.
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