After a number of trades, the Calgary Flames finally picked at the 24th spot in the NHL Entry Draft and were pleased to announce they were selecting forward Connor Zary from the Kamloops Blazers. A versatile player, he played all situations with Kamloops in the WHL, has good offensive instincts, and is good forechecker.
Essentially, the Flames took their original 19th overall pick and turned it into Zary at No. 24 and added a couple of 3rd round picks in the process.
James Mirtle of The Athletic said, “Great pick by the Flames at 24. Connor Zary is going to be a player for them for sure. Smart, skilled centre.” And, that the Flames were able to trade down twice and still get Zary is being seen as a win by many insiders.
Zary said of being drafted by the Flames, “I’m super excited for the future and what it holds.” When asked what his biggest challenge has been to stay fit, he noted he just wanted to stay consistent. And, consistent is a good word to describe this player.
This is a well-rounded shooter who would have ranked much higher had this not been such a deep draft. He’s a player that can do a little bit of everything, has a high hocky IQ, competes hard, and isn’t shy in the skill department. He plays between checks, and can be deceptive and crafty under pressure.
The knocks are that he’s just an average 5v5 playmaker and isn’t a terribly efficient skater.
Comparables include Logan Couture and Bo Horvat offering a similar mixture of skills and smarts. He’s also considered a very strong leader. He plays with incredible consistency and is said to bring it for the full 60 minutes each and every night.
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