Vancouver Giants' forward Brendan Gallagher signed a 3-year entry level contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens originally drafted Gallagher in the 5th round, 147th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The 19 year old made quite an impression at this year's training camp, picking up one assist in 5 exhibition games with the Habs during the 2011 pre-season.
"First and foremost I would like to thank the Montreal Canadiens for taking a chance on me and believing in me," said Brendan Gallagher. "I'm very excited to sign my first pro contract, which puts me one step closer to realizing my dream of playing in the NHL. This would not have happened without the support of my family, my many teammates over the years, the coaching staff in Vancouver led by Don Hay, and the rest of the Giants organization."
Gallagher, who was taken in the 9th round, 195th overall in the 2007 WHL Bantam draft by the Vancouver Giants, has gone on to become one of the most proficient offensive players in franchise history. Coming off back to back 40+ goal seasons, he is currently in his 4th season with the Giants organization and has 18 goals, 13 assists, and 31 points in 18 games. He is on pace to become the all-time franchise leader in goals, assists, and points and could very well top the single season mark for goals (48) in a season.
"Having known Brendan since he was 4 years of age, this is a very exciting day for myself and our entire organization," said Vancouver Giants Executive Vice-President and General Manager Scott Bonner. "There is nobody more deserving of a NHL contract then Brendan. His work ethic and commitment to getting better on a daily basis is second to none."
Gallagher is currently in Regina, Saskatchewan taking part in the 2011 Subway Super Series as a member of Team WHL. He was named captain for the game tonight vs. Russia. Gallagher also hopes to be a member of Team Canada at the upcoming 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships in Calgary/Edmonton. This past summer he took part in Canada's evaluation camp for a second straight year after being one of the final cuts last Christmas for the 2011 team.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)