Zalapski in 2010
April 22, 1968|
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
December 10, 2017 (aged 49)|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
4th overall, 1986|
Zalapski's career started with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In his first season with the Traders, Zalapski tallied 70 points in 67 games, including 17 goals. Zalapski spent the next two years playing with the Canadian National Team. Zalapski was picked 4th in the 1st round by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. He tallied 99 goals, and 285 assists, for a total of 384 points in his 637 games in the NHL. He also registered 684 penalty minutes.
He was a member of the Canadian Olympic Hockey team in the 1988 Winter Olympics held in Calgary, Alberta. Canada would end up missing the medal podium and finished in fourth place. Although Canada lost their first game in the medal round, Zalapski played a key role in the team's victories over West Germany and Czechoslovakia.
After his 11-year career in the National Hockey League playing for the Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, and Philadelphia Flyers, he then played for teams in hockey leagues in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, and finally in Switzerland. On December 2, 2008, Zalapski's skate accidentally deeply cut Genève-Servette HC player Jérôme Bonnet.
Zalapski retired after the 2009–10 NLB season.
Zalapski was the son of Len and Bonnie Zalapski. His unusual first name came as a result of his father Len, a golf enthusiast, naming him after professional golfer Kermit Zarley. Zalapski had one sister, Kyla.
Zalapski became a Swiss citizen in 2006 through his marriage to his wife, Klaudija. The couple had two sons, Zen and Kai.
Zalapski died on December 10, 2017, at the age of 49, after suffering complications related to a viral infection. He had been hospitalized in October 2017 with viral myocarditis and was released later that month after treatment.
Following his death, his sister Kyla Zalapski wanted to know if he had any brain health issues.  Zalapski had suffered at least two concussions in his NHL career. She had his brain sent to Toronto to be examined. Neuropathologist Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati determined that Zalapsk had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). He also had more tau (abnormal brain protein) than found in another former NHL defenceman, Steve Montador, who died at age 35.
- Named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1989.
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1993)
Regular season and playoffs
|1984–85||Fort Saskatchewan Traders||AJHL||57||14||45||59||14||10||3||8||11||0|
|1985–86||Fort Saskatchewan Traders||AJHL||27||20||33||53||46||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–2000||Long Beach Ice Dogs||IHL||7||0||5||5||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||IF Björklöven||SWE II||14||1||4||5||6||3||0||0||0||4|
|2005–06||EHC Visp||CHE II||6||0||2||2||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||EHC Chur||CHE II||5||1||5||6||36||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||EHC Biel-Bienne||CHE II||33||2||14||16||46||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||EHC Olten||CHE II||34||2||18||20||56||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Lausanne HC||CHE II||2||0||1||1||2||14||1||7||8||10|
|2009–10||Lausanne HC||CHE II||28||1||6||7||36||20||1||4||5||20|
|CHE II totals||113||6||46||52||213||34||2||11||13||30|
- "Former Calgary Flames defenceman Zarley Zalapski dead at 49". globalnews.ca.
- "Former NHL defenceman Zarley Zalapski dead at 49 - Sportsnet.ca". Sportsnet.ca. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Zalapski, former NHL defenseman, dies at 49". NHL.ca. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
| Pittsburgh Penguins first round draft pick