The Calgary Flames have (finally) made their first selection of the 2020 NHL Draft. After swapping picks with the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals, the Flames have selected Connor Zary from the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers with the 24th overall pick.

Originally from Saskatoon, the 19-year-old Zary is a left shot center who has played three full seasons with the Blazers and has showed constant offensive improvement. (He’s a late September birthday and was one of the oldest players in this draft class.) He’s improved his goal output from 11 to 24 to 38 this past season, and his point output from 29 to 67 to 86 this past season.

Here’s Steve Kournianos of The Draft Analyst on Zary’s game:

A top-notch competitor with a nose for the net, Zary was the heart and soul of an improved Kamloops team that improved significantly from last season. He’s an intelligent two-way center who provides support in a variety of ways, including subtle touch or bank passes in the defensive zone that leads to swift breakouts. Playmaking is just one of his distinguishable assets, as he can deliver precision passes from either his forehand or backhand. Strong and well-balanced, Zary displays deceptive quickness and requires only two or three strides to accelerate to top speed and become an open-ice threat.

Zary was fifth in the WHL in points in 2019-20 and tied for fifth in goals. He’s a bit reliant on special teams for production – 38 of his 86 points came on the power play, for instance – but he’s still a smart, savvy player with obvious offensive talent. Scouts laud him for his competitiveness and all-around strength. He might not have an elite attribute, per chance, but he has few (if any) weaknesses in his game.

He’s the second player from the WHL that Brad Treliving has selected in the first round, following Juuso Valimaki in 2017 and eighth prospect selected from the Dub since Treliving arrived in 2014. It’s worth noting that Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jarome Iginla is a part-owner of the Blazers.

Zary was highly regarded but somewhat divisive within the scouting community, possibly due to his age. He ranged from 11th (Craig Button & Corey Pronman), 16th (Sportsnet), 17th (FC Hockey), 20th (Hockey Prospect), 22nd (Bob McKenzie) to 25th (Elite Prospects). But the Flames managed to get him at 24th overall, plus add a pair of third rounders in the process.