Gallant moving up

Jason Simmonds
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Summerside native earns AHL contract with San Jose Sharks’ affiliate

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Forward Alex Gallant is relieved to know he’ll have a permanent pro hockey residence for the next couple of years, at least.

Alex Gallant, white jersey, in action against the Brooks Bandits in the final game of the 2013 RBC Cup national junior A hockey championship in Summerside.

The 23-year-old son of Mike (Pinky) and Patricia Gallant of Summerside has signed a contract for the rest of this season and next year with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) San Jose Barracuda, the top affiliate of the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks.

“It will be a lot easier this summer knowing I am going back to San Jose and that is where I’m wanted,” said Gallant. “I actually never knew the feeling of going back to the same spot.

“It will be the first summer I can be comfortable, work hard and come back here and keep working my way up.”

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Journey

Gallant, who won two MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) championships with the Summerside Western Capitals in 2011 and 2013, started his pro journey in the Southern Professional Hockey League in 2013. He then moved up to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), before earning full-time employment in the AHL.

“For me, this might be the best feel-good hockey story for many, many years anywhere, but especially on Prince Edward Island,” said Billy McGuigan, who coached the six-foot and 185-pound Gallant with the Caps three seasons ago. “For his size and what his body has been through, with shoulder and back injuries and undergoing surgeries, he has the heart of the lion.

“He’s a true professional, not to mention one of the nicest and humble guys you’d ever want to meet.”

 

Pro tryout

After starting this season in the ECHL, Gallant signed a pro tryout agreement with the Barracuda in November.

“I wasn’t sure what they were going to do, whether they were going to sign me to another one of those or offer me a contract,” admitted Gallant. “I was really excited when I got the news they were offering me a contract.”

“It will be a lot easier this summer knowing I am going back to San Jose and that is where I’m wanted. I actually never knew the feeling of going back to the same spot. It will be the first summer I can be comfortable, work hard and come back here and keep working my way up.” Alex Gallant

Gallant said he’s received positive feedback from the organization.

“They said they really believe in me and want to make me a better hockey player,” he said. “They have the best people in place here to help me improve.”

One those individuals working in player development and closely with Gallant has 1,209 NHL games on his resumé.

“Mike Ricci is always picking at me in practice to make me better,” said Gallant. “It’s just perfect. He’s always wanting to work with me and make me better doing all the little things.”

For example?

“Every day he (Ricci) wants to help me on my quickness and skating,” answered Gallant. “That’s what I need to work on to get to the next level.

“There are a lot of little things I need to work on that are important. Things like chipping the puck out and getting pucks to the net. He’s always harping at me to hit the net because it’s so important, along with working the puck from the corner to the net, driving to the net and stopping at the net.”

 

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

 

Resumé

Alex Gallant’s pro

hockey resumé:

2013-14

Columbus Cottonmouths,

Southern Professional Hockey League

43GP, 1G, 3A, 251 PIM

 

2014-15

Orlando Solar Bears,

East Coast Hockey League

1GP, OG, OA, 7 PIM

Utah Grizzlies,

East Coast Hockey League

22GP, 1G, 1A, 99 PIM

 

2015-16

Utah Grizzlies,

East Coast Hockey League

11GP, 0G, 1A, 37 PIM

San Jose Barracuda,

American Hockey League

15GP, 0G, 0A, 85 PIM

 

 

Organizations: American Hockey League, San Jose Sharks, National Hockey League East Coast Hockey League Maritime Junior Hockey League Summerside Western Capitals Southern Professional Hockey League Barracuda

Geographic location: Summerside, San Jose, Prince Edward Island

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