2008-09: Michael Zalewski was the New York High School Player of the Year playing for New Hartford HS in upstate New York.
2009-10: Zalewski skated for the Syracuse Stars in the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He scored 16 goals with 32 assists and 28 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games and had 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes in two playoff contests. Zalewski was ranked 150th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings but was not selected in the 2010 NHL Draft.
2010-11: Zalewski left New York to play in British Columbia with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers and in November he committed to playing college hockey at RPI in 2012-13. Skating on a Vipers team that reached the 2011 RBC Cup (Canada junior A hockey) championship game, he scored 12 goals with 17 assists and 34 penalty minutes in 46 regular season games and had 5 goals with 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes in 16 BCHL playoff games. In the seven game Doyle Cup to reach the RBC Cup he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and 8 penalty minutes. Zalewski scored 1 goal with 3 assists and 12 penalty minutes in six games at the RBC Cup. Vernon lost to the Pembroke Lumber Kings, 2-0, in the championship game.
2011-12: Zalewski was the leading scorer for Vernon in his second BCHL season. One of two players to skate in all 60 games, he scored 38 goals with 37 assists and had 83 penalty minutes. The Vipers finished fifth in the Interior Division; missing the BCHL playoffs.
2012-13: Returning to New York, Zalewski skated in 36 of 37 games for RPI in his freshman season. He scored 12 goals with 9 assists and was +6 with 22 penalty minutes. The Engineers finished second in a competitive ECAC Hockey race but failed to receive an NCAA tournament bid after losing to Brown in a three-game ECAC quarterfinal series.
2013-14: Zalewski made his NHL debut with the Canucks in a game at Edmonton on April 12th, playing in two late season games after signing a two-year entry-level contract with Vancouver in March 2014 following his sophomore season at RPI. He had an assist and was +2, averaging 12 minutes of ice time in his brief NHL stint. Zalewski attended the Winnipeg Jets prospect camp in the summer before returning to RPI for his sophomore season. He scored 9 goals with 17 assists and was +1 with 53 penalty minutes in 35 games for the Engineers. RPI finished seventh in ECAC Hockey and lost to Dartmouth in a three-game first round playoff series.
Zalewski is a smart, hard-working player with the size to be an effective forechecker. He has good anticipation and positioning but his stick handling and passing skills must continue to improve if he is to succeed in pro hockey.
Zalewski attended his first training camp with the Canucks before being assigned to AHL affiliate Utica at the start of the 2014-15 season. In his first year of pro hockey, he has had to work to get ice time with several minor league veterans having strong years for the first-year Comets. Playing mostly in a lower line role his offensive opportunities have been limited. Zalewski's numbers should increase as he gains experience and becomes more accustomed to the game at the pro level. Long-term he is projected as a bottom six forward and his game and style has drawn comparisons to Ryan Callahan.