Kayson Gallant breaks in on the Chase Heat goalie on their KIJHL home opener, which was a tribute to Grant Sheridan. Gallant is taking his offensive talents to Lac La Biche, where he will play for the Portage College Voyageurs. Dunsmoor Creative photos
Playing for the Kelowna Chiefs gave Kayson Gallant the opportunity to play college hockey.
The best part about it for the former Red Deer CanPro U18 AA product is it will be in Lac La Biche, Alta., with the Portage College Voyageurs in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
Gallant joins a Voyageurs program that started in 2008. The Voyageurs are coached by Nate Bedford, who last fall added Kevin McClelland, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Edmonton Oilers, to his staff as an associate coach. The Voyageurs are coming off a tough season in which they were winless in 28 games.
“I am very excited and nervous a little bit, but hoping that I can help the team at Portage the best I can,” says Gallant. “I felt this was the best fit for me because it was close to home, but I also have the opportunity to work on my schooling and play at an elite level of hockey.”
Gallant led the Chiefs in scoring with 33 goals and 63 points in 48 games. That placed him fourth overall in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). Gallant says he couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to play with, and that they had great leadership.
“I’m happy with what we achieved as a team through the season,” says Gallant, whose KIJHL career ended with 60 goals and 117 points in 109 career regular and playoff games combined.
“I felt that I had a good year, I played with some very skilled players as well,” says Gallant. “I felt at some times I had more to give, but you can’t always win them all and there’s always room for improvement.”
Gallant developed leadership skills and improved his mental game.
“I worked with my coaches very hard on those this year and I’m very happy with how it helped my game and how I could contribute more than just on ice for the team,” he added. “The KIJHL is a very good development league and I do feel I improved in my game on the ice, but also off the ice. The two years I played in Kelowna I have seen so many players develop in so many ways and it’s great to see the league grow.”