Draft Reflections: Finding the next Brendan Gallagher
I've written repeatedly over the last five years about Brendan Gallagher's ability to will pucks to the back of the net. Yet, even after watching nearly every one of his games, his overwhelming success still mystifies me at times.
More than that, I feel like Gallagher-types have represented a blindspot of my scouting for the past couple of years. I can't seem to cram these players into my mental models of "what makes a top-end NHLer."
In many respects, Gallagher is an outlier; few skaters his size play his type of game successfully in the NHL. But his effectiveness can't only be chalked up to "good guy, works hard" ... Right?
How do you project a Brendan Gallagher? Are they just bound to make you look foolish for underestimating them, for ever doubting their ability to resist crosschecks to the back? Or are there some patterns in his game that could inform and improve the projection of other Junior prospects?
To find out, I chased some game tape from his Junior career.
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