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Corner Brook native Jamie Gallant’s son Zach selected by Detroit at 2017 NHL draft

Zach Gallant
Zach Gallant

It’d be a tough time for a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan like Jamie Gallant to switch allegiances now, just as the National Hockey League club looks like it might finally be heading in the right direction.

If his son Zach ever suits up for the Detroit Red Wings, however, the Corner Brook native may have to hop on the bandwagon.

Zach, 18, was taken in the third round, 83rd overall, by the Wings in Chicago on Saturday. The six-foot-one, 198-pound centre had 21 goals and 47 points for the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes last season.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Jamie said with a laugh. “No doubt, if he ever plays, we’ll certainly be cheering for Zach.”

Despite his blue and white blood, the elder Gallant said he was “thrilled” Zach ended up with the Red Wings organization, citing their stellar track record at developing young talent. Their American Hockey League farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, just hoisted the Calder Cup as league champions.

“I’ve got nothing but good things to say,” he said.

He admits there were some anxious moments on the draft floor in Chicago, but various sources had Zach pre-ranked in the 60-80 range, so he went right around where he was expected to go. The family knew the Wings had expressed interest in Zach and were also armed with four third-round picks, so they were optimistic that might be a fit.

“We were thrilled when he was picked,” Jamie said. “It was really cool.”

Jamie, whose mother Mary and brother Don still live in the city, left the province in 1990 after finishing his undergrad degree. Zach has been a frequent visitor to the area though, as Jamie said they’ve tried to get home “once or twice a year.”

He doesn’t expect much to change for the family right away — but there is a Red Wings development camp coming up on July 6, so he said they may drive down to Michigan to watch Zach in action.

It just might be the first step on an even greater journey.

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