Zach Palmquist

Zach Palmquist


South St. Paul Minnesota

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Signed as Free Agent, March 2015


175 lbs.

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2006-07: Zach Palmquist skated for South St. Paul High School in Minnesota and was an All-Suburban Conference selection as a sophomore. The Packers finished 12-14-0 and lost in the first round of the Section 3A tournament. 

2007-08: Palmquist skated for South St. Paul High School and was named All-Suburban Conference as the Packers enjoyed a big turnaround season. South St. Paul finished 19-6-2 and reached the Section 4A championship game. 

2008-09: Palmquist made his USHL debut with the Waterloo Black Hawks, skating in 12 regular season games and two playoff contests, and was an all-state selection in Minnesota following his senior season at South St. Paul High School. Palmquist had 3 assists and was +4 with 20 penalty minutes in 14 USHL games with the Black Hawks. He scored 14 goals with 24 assists and 32 penalty minutes in 25 regular season games for South St. Paul. The Packers finished 18-6-3 and lost in the Section 4A semifinals. Palmquist was ranked 196th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings but was not selected in the 2009 NHL Draft. 

2009-10: Palmquist returned to Waterloo for his first full USHL season. He was the second-leading scorer amongst defensemen for the Black Hawks, finishing one point behind Michigan Tech recruit Dan Sova for the team lead. Palmquist scored 9 goals with 27 assists and was +6 with 60 penalty minutes in 53 regular season games. Waterloo finished fourth in the Eastern Conference, losing to eventual Clark Cup champion Green Bay in a first-round playoff series. Palmquist was -3 with no points nor penalties in three playoff games. He committed to playing college hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato in 2011-12 in November 2010. 

2010-11: Palmquist led Waterloo in games played — appearing in 59 of 60 games in his second full USHL season. He scored 4 goals with 14 assists and was -18 with 67 penalty minutes. The Black Hawks slipped to sixth in the Eastern Conference and lost to Indiana in the first round in the USHL’s expanded playoff format. Palmquist had an even plus/minus with 1 assist and no penalties in the two-game series. 

2011-12: Palmquist was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for Minnesota State-Mankato in his freshman season. Skating in all 38 games for the Mavericks, he scored 6 goals with 13 assists and was -12 with 31 penalty minutes. Mankato finished 11th in the WCHA and lost to Minnesota-Duluth in a first round playoff series — falling to the defending national champion Bulldogs in double overtime in the second game.

2012-13: Palmquist attended the Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect camp in the summer before returning to Minnesota State for his sophomore season. In 41 games for the Mavericks he scored 7 goals with 18 assists and was +5 with 20 penalty minutes. Minnesota State had its best season since joining the WCHA in 1999-00. The Mavericks reached the WCHL Final Five quarterfinals and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament — falling 4-0 to Miami in the Midwest Regional semifinals to finish the year 24-14-3. 

2013-14: Palmquist attended the San Jose Sharks prospect camp with Mavericks teammates Max Gaede and Eriah Hayes before returning to Mankato for his junior season. He appeared in 41 games for Minnesota State-Mankato, scoring 4 goals with 19 assists, and was +4 with 36 penalty minutes. The Mavericks finished second in the re-aligned Western College Hockey Association and won the league playoff title to earn an NCAA tournament berth. Minnesota State lost, 2-1, to Massachusetts-Lowell in the NCAA Northeast Regional. Palmquist was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team and was a First Team All-WCHA selection.

2014-15: Palmquist, who attended the Wild’s prospect development camp in the summer before returning to Minnesota State-Mankato for his senior season, signed an entry-contract as an undrafted free agent in March 2015 and made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Iowa Wild. He had 3 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in eight games for Iowa, which finished last in the West Division. Palmquist appeared in all 40 games for Minnesota State-Mankato. He scored 8 goals with 21 assists and was +12 with 20 penalty minutes. The Mavericks finished first in the WCHA in the regular season and defeated second-place Michigan Tech, 5-2, in the conference tournament championship game. Mankato lost to RIT in the NCAA Midwest regional semifinals. Palmquist was All-WCHA First Team for the second consecutive season and All-WCHA and All-Academic for the third consecutive season. He made the WCHA All-Tournament team and was a Second Team All-American.

2015-16: Palmquist skated for Wild AHL affiliate Iowa in his first pro season. He scored 4 goals with 7 assists and was -6 with 26 penalty minutes in 69 games. He was called up by Minnesota during the playoff series against Dallas but did not appear in any games. The Iowa Wild missed the AHL playoffs, finishing last in the Central Division.

Talent Analysis

Palmquist is an efficient defender who uses high hockey intelligence to control the flow of play. He does not have great bulk but is a good skater and distributor. Palmquist also showed durability, having never missed a game during his college career.


Palmquist was one of the more consistent defensemen for the AHL's Iowa Wild in 2015-16 in his first pro season. Signed to a one-year deal by Minnesota following his college career, he would become an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a qualifying offer. Palmquist, while not dominant in any one area nor a punishing defenseman, plays a sound cerebral game and has a solid game that makes him valuable in a lower pairing role.

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