Is RHP the new Gallagher?
The 2021-22 season for the Montreal Canadiens was a tough one, but an eventful one nonetheless.
Firings, hirings, injuries, a pandemic, it had it all. Around late December of that season, about half of the regulars were in the lineup, meaning call-ups from Laval were imperative. One call up ready to make his mark was Rafael Harvey-Pinard, the Canadiens 7th round draft pick in 2019.
He’d been playing great hockey for the Rocket, and earned his call-up. He scored 1 goal in 4 games before being sent back down. Although he got demoted, coaches and teammates were impressed with his tenacious style of play and strong work ethic, reminiscent of Brenden Gallagher.
This year, injuries once again forced the Habs to look to Laval for options. Harvey-Pinard was the next man up, and in his 7 games this year, he had 5 goals and 1 assist for 6 points. He’s been so valuable to the Habs because of his ability to produce wherever he is in the lineup. Whether it was on the 1st or 4th line, he found a way to score. RHP is here to stay.
Not only is his play on the ice similar to Gallagher’s, but so is his career path. Both are late round draft picks overlooked because of their size (5’9). Both captained their junior teams, and then played in the minors before getting called up to the Canadiens.
It’s a small sample size, but the Habs might have found their Gallagher of the future.