Weight: 184 pounds
Date of birth: March 6, 1999
Hometown: Oakville, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 1, 5th overall, 2015 Priority Selection
Playing his midget hockey for the Mississauga Rebels Minor Midget AAA squad, Zachary Gallant scored twenty-four goals and thirty-four assists in sixty-two games while amassing ninety-five minutes in penalties. Upon completion of his season, he got a three-game stint with the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Last season Gallant took the Ontario Hockey League route and appeared in fifty-one games for the Peterborough Petes. He registered just four assists on the season as it appeared he was having difficulty adjusting to the league. He also represented Canada Red at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, and in six games for Canada, had two assists.
The Petes have been one of the OHL’s hottest teams of late going 16-3-0 and Gallant has been a large part of that run scoring nine goals and adding ten assists raising his season totals to fourteen goals and nineteen assists in forty-one games.
At 6’1” and 184 pounds, Gallant has good size. He’s not afraid of the physical game and does not hesitate to initiate the physicality. He lacks an explosive first step to his skating and doesn’t possess a separation gear which in turn reflects on his offense. I’m a firm believer that skating can be improved through hard work and commitment and have no doubt Gallant has the will to do just that.
Gallant’s strength however, is his ability to play an excellent two-way game while providing some offense. How his skating improves will dictate how his offensive abilities translate to the NHL. He’s excellent in the face-off circle, winning 59.9% of his draws. Defensively, Gallant can read and react instantly and has a strong ability to create turnovers. He has a willingness to block shots and is adept at it. His work ethic and commitment to the defensive zone will be his ticket to the NHL.
Offensively, Gallant is not afraid of the dirty areas. He’s hard to knock off the puck and is excellent at keeping possession. He cycles with confidence and sometimes with ease. He has an average shot, firing at a rate of 12.8% while an average playmaker.
There are no statistics to measure heart and determination to win. But Gallant is all heart with a willingness to do whatever it takes to win, and with him, the team always comes first.
Gallant was ranked 24th among OHL players , 71st among North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting mid-term rankings.