His positioning at his age allows him to put more focus on other skills at the moment, which will only help him in his development. It is also not due to character, either on or off ice. In Craig Button’s 2020 preseason draft rankings, Zary was placed at the 18th spot.

He will likely find himself back in the WHL next year, continuing to work on his skating and mature physically. He’s one of the older first-year draft-eligible players in the 2020 draft class, making him a bit more mature physically and, in some cases, mentally. The major thing that Zary has going for him is his experience in juniors. He supports his teammates against the cycle game. If Zary can tidy up his skating and continue to develop he will 100% be an NHL player. I mentioned this with my Jack Quinn evaluation as well, as stopping on the puck allows you to stick with the play far easier than curling or turning back. He needs to get lower in his first few strides in order to generate even more power, which in turn will grant him a faster top speed.

That stat is promising, as although his shot isn’t nearly as dangerous as most, he has a knack for finding the smallest openings and putting it through. His physical maturity allows him to be successful along the boards and in the corners. If anything can be considered a real “flaw” with Zary it is his skating. He is also good at creating pressure on the forecheck, forcing opposing defenders to make quick decisions and capitalizing on their mistakes if they don’t. Connor Zary Scouting Report: 2020 NHL Draft #18. He gets to the front of the net both with and without the puck. He tends to pull the puck back and take a half-second to find a spot to fire it. First, let’s start with Zary’s skating ability. It also helps him to work along the boards. As for upside? He gets open without the puck and sets himself up to take that pass, fire that puck on net, or quickly keep it moving and get it to a teammate. He brings good back-pressure and helps his team’s defencemen down low. He does this very often and he is extremely efficient as well. And if this alternate timeline was reality? Zary represented Team Saskatchewan at the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in 2016-17, picking up one goal and one assist for two points in the five-game tournament. His positioning is solid, he reads opponents well and he has the anticipation and an active stick necessary to create turnovers.
So what exactly makes Zary a strong offensive player?

Center — shoots Left He’s seemingly already made strong strides on the defensive side of the puck from last season into this past season, and if that continues, he could shock a lot of people and be ready in two to three years from now. Zary also doesn’t have a particularly quick release on his shot. Basically, those three traits allow Zary to pull off a quick play to catch the opposition off guard. Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Connor Zary isn’t a dynamic offensive player, but he has been consistent. Zary can also score with a good wrist shot or snapshot. How does sports betting affect college hockey? 2 pick, Top 25 Super Bowl Performances of All Time, Each NHL Team's Most Likely Future Hall of Famer, 30 Greatest Teams in Premier League History, 28 most memorable buzzer beaters in March Madness history. The Kamloops Blazers pivot would still have certainly gone top 20 or so in that draft thanks to putting up 67 points in 63 games as a 17-year-old. The Kamloops Blazers pivot would still have certainly gone top 20 or so in that draft thanks to putting up 67 points in 63 games as a 17-year-old. We'll never pass along your email address to spammers, scammers, or the like. It is certainly not due to a lack of production.

He is still above average in terms of his top-end speed and he reaches that quickly with good acceleration. He was caught back with a teammate, and even though his teammate had the puck carrier covered, he began gliding across the ice towards him. Strong backwards skating also helps him to play a 200-foot game. That allows him to take his creativity and stickhandling ability and pull off a quick and unexpected deke to get into space. Connor Zary is one of the most interesting 2020 NHL Draft prospects, in my eyes. And if this alternate timeline was reality? Zary also protects the puck very well in the cycle game and keeps plays alive as a result. Like Schenn, Zary is an average skater and solid – if not great – defensively. Arizona Coyotes must part ways with Mitchell Miller immediately, Buffalo Sabres: Grading the Sam Reinhart contract, NHL: Ranking the starting goaltenders of the Atlantic Division, 2020 NHL Draft prospect profile: Seth Jarvis scouting report, NHL Draft 2020: Breaking Down Current Draft Order and Top Prospects to Know, 2020 NHL Draft: The interesting, meteoric rise of Jack Quinn, 2020 NHL Draft: Rhett Rhinehart could be a late round gem, Los Angeles Kings: Quinton Byfield is the man to draft with No.

This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skills and ability. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. However, he does not have great power on his shot at this venture.

To focus more on that anticipation I mentioned earlier, he uses his anticipation, vision, and creativity to be a quick strike player. Straightening his back could even improve his top speed. Zary uses his vision to find teammates open across the ice for a scoring chance as well. This helps him to get around defenders, both with and without the puck. Zary is a fairly technical skater, to a degree. Though given his hands and offensive IQ you would expect him to produce more high danger chances for line-mates as a pivot, and he misses passes at times. On defense, he just doesn’t seem motivated and gets burned.

This is a massive advantage for him, as it allows him the ability to constantly be facing the puck, even if there’s a change of possession.
Players like Tim Stützle, Lukas Reichel, John-Jason Peterka and William Wallinder “came out of no-where”, while Marco Rossi, Anton Lundell, Jan Myšák, Helge Grans and Emil Andrae improved their stock heavily over the course of the season. However, I feel confident saying that Zary will likely take his time and get started in the AHL before an NHL chance emerges. Based on what other people have said, he has a capable defensive game, but from what I’ve seen, it’ll require quite a bit of work. This is key because it means that he knows how to get open and position himself to aid his team’s offensive attack.

That ability gives him an additional advantage when battling along the boards.

Connor Zary #18 of the Kamloops Blazers (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images). In terms of shooting he has a quick release and good accuracy, and can stun goalies with either a wrist or snap-shot. That allowed an opposing forward to skate behind his back and rush the net, completely uncovered. We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. That tells me he has the ability to be solid in that area, but he just doesn’t play with full interest. Zary is a good skater, if somewhat unconventional. He wins a good portion of battles in those areas in the defensive zone.

His leadership qualities and consistency aid him in that area of NHL certainty. Connor Zary #18 of the Kamloops Blazers (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) 2020 NHL Draft: Connor Zary scouting report, prospect profile Connor Zary … He rarely makes the wrong decision on those passes, but as I stated earlier, he does sometimes rush himself and simply miss passes. If he can get into position and find soft spots in defensive coverages in the NHL, then he will get the opportunity to show off his hands, shot, and passing ability.

Zary – while very “well-rounded” – does not do that many things at a high-end level. I believe Zary could end up being that underrated 2C option for teams and be a dynamic, clutch leader for whatever NHL team drafts him. Looking for other scouting reports?

Following that, as a late birthdate, he will be eligible for the AHL in 2021-22.


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