Two Flames prospects got a nice offer this afternoon as 2020 first round pick Connor Zary and 2019 first round pick Jakob Pelletier have been invited to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp. Forty-Six players in all are invited to Red Deer for the chance to make the 2021 IIHF World Junior Team. Only 26 forwards end up making the team, so the Flames two first round picks will have some stiff competition to make the squad, which will play in the World Junior Championships in Edmonton from December 25 through January 5.
Jakob Pelletier is currently in the QMJHL playing for Val d’Or Foreurs. He’s hit the ice four times so far during the young 2021 season and has one goal and five assists for his efforts. This is his first season with Val d’Or Foreurs after spending 2017-20 with the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) where he potted 94 goals and dished out 138 assists.
Zary meanwhile is a fresh face to the Flames organization, having just been selected in the most recent NHL Entry Draft. The 19 year old native of Saskatoon hasn’t been able to take the ice yet as the 2020 WHL season has yet to start. Before being drafted (1st round, 24th pick) Connor Zary had three solid seasons with the Kamloops Blazers, with his best season coming in 2019-20 where he played in 57 games and collected 86 points (38G – 48A).
Whether either player has what it takes to make Canada’s 2021 IIHF squad is yet to be seen, but it’s an honour for them to be selected and playing with Canada’s best young talent will only help grow their games. Both players will be in Red Deer from November 16 to December 13.
by Mark Parkinson