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Galambos’ wild journey will continue at Minnesota State

 

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Over the past four seasons, Zak Galambos has played for five junior hockey teams in three different leagues.

Next year, he’ll get some well-earned stability to his credit as the Walnut Creek native and San Jose Jr. Sharks alum will be off to play NCAA Division I hockey for Minnesota State University (WCHA).

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Beginning in 2014-15, Galambos played in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the Des Moines Buccaneers and in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Janesville Jets. The following season, it was a full year with the NAHL’s Johnstown Tomahawks before splitting 2016-17 between Johnstown and the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. This year, Galambos ventured to the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) to finish out his junior eligibility with the Wenatchee Wild, a team that won the Fred Page Cup as playoff champions.

After all that, college life may be a breeze for Galambos, who will man the blue line for the Mavericks.

“Minnesota State first showed some interest in me back when I was playing in Johnstown,” said Galambos. “After playing four years of juniors, they came out to watch Wenatchee play a few games. They liked how much I had developed over those few years and offered me a spot. Ever since I started playing hockey, it has always been a dream of mine to play D-I. To be able to play top-level hockey and to get an education at the same time, there’s nothing else I could ask for. Truly a dream come true.”

Once he gets to the Mankato, Minn., campus later this summer, Galambos has an idea on what to expect, both on and off the ice.

“I’m just expecting a lot of hard work,” Galambos said. “I’m going to have to earn everything I get – no handouts. So I know I’ll be putting in a lot of work out on the ice and in the weight room. As far as school, I think it may be a little difficult at first, but they have their freshmen go and start classes over summer, which will help me get a feel for things, so I think being able to take a couple classes and start workouts will make the transition fairly easily.”

Galambos said in regard to a major, he’s leaning towards something in business or the medical field.

And in looking back on his youth career, Galambos said he had numerous positive influences that helped mold him into who he is today. In addition to the Jr. Sharks, Galambos played for the Vacaville North Stars, Berkeley Bulldogs and Oakland Bears.

“When it comes to coaches, every coach I’ve ever had, from the beginning to now, have all contributed to my development,” said Galambos. “They all made my minor hockey days unforgettable and I thank them for that.

“The Jr. Sharks have all the resources you need if you’re trying to take your hockey career to the next level. The Jr. Sharks really helped prepare me for my junior hockey career. They offer a top-notch facility and provide an even better coaching staff to accompany it. The coaches that stand out to me are Mike Janda, Curtis Brown, John Beaulieu and Nate Weossner.”

In reflecting on the past four years of his junior hockey journey, Galambos said it was never an option to hang up the skates, even when some players may have done just that.

“It’s something I’ve been doing the majority of my life and I couldn’t just give up on that,” said Galambos. “I’d really like to thank my parents (Tina and Nelson) for teaching me to finish something that I’ve started. Since I began this journey, I’ve had this goal, and I won’t stop until I reach it. So with that, if it weren’t for them, none of this would have been possible.”

Photo/Russ Alman/Digital Media Northwest

— Matt Mackinder

(April 24, 2018)