#14 - Connor Zary
Age: 18 (as of August 1 2020)
2019-20 Team: Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Drafted in 2020, 1st Round, Pick 24
2019 Ranking: N/A
Brad Treliving has long been praised for his ability to sign his own players, but his trade and draft prowess was on full display at the 2020 draft. The Flames acquired two third round picks by trading down twice, while still getting the player they likely wanted at 19: Connor Zary.
Zary’s night was only topped in announcement prestige by Tim Stutzle (who had the honour of being selected by Alex Trebek, RIP) as his name was called by the legendary moustache himself, Lanny McDonald. He’s also a product of the same Kamloops Blazers as one Jarome Iginla.
Putting up 67 points in his second WHL season in 2018-19, Zary missed qualifying for the 2019 draft by 10 days. He benefitted from that greatly, as he jumped to 86 points in 6 fewer games, and became a consensus first round pick. A 6 foot centremen, Zary put his wicked shot on display throughout the 2019-20 season, while maintaining a leadership role (assistant captain), and playing with an edge (51 PIM). Zary fits in a relatively similar mold to last year’s first round pick, Jakob Pelletier.
Zary is entering a hectic year. He and Pelletier have both been invited to the Team Canada World Junior Selection camp, and he’ll attempt to earn a spot on the team slated to play in Edmonton come December. The 2020-21 WHL season has announced it’s season debut for December 4th, so he’ll quickly be going from no hockey since March, to a lot of hockey to close out 2020 (which can’t come soon enough).
What do you think of Zary’s final ranking?
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