Calgary Flames End of Season Awards: Rookie of the Year

Calgary Flames, Connor Zary
Calgary Flames, Connor Zary / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages

The Calgary Flames season may have not gone the way they would have hoped, but they achieved two major goals that many had for them back in September; moving their crop of UFA's and injecting this roster with some much needed youth. The lineup has seen some impressive performances from their rookies, and while it hasn't all been good, the organization appear much more optimistic about their future than they did six months ago.

Ultimately though, to the surprise of absolutely no one, it's former first-round pick Connor Zary that takes home Rookie of the Year honours, as he made an impact immediately upon debut and showed signs of being a key piece of the future for this team. In 60 games this season, Zary has tallied 13 goals and 32 points, so while he may have fallen out of the Calder Trophy race in the NHL, his consistency has made him a standout for the Flames.

Perhaps the most impressive statistic for Zary this season is his +/-, as he ranks second in players still on the team this season, with the +13 mark coming in at second on the team, behind only Blake Coleman. It started early for Zary, who tallied a goal in his very first game early on the season, and while his numbers were respectable in the AHL, no one quite saw him breaking out like this so early in his career.

The Saskatoon native was a first-round pick of the Flames back in 2020, and now he predicts to be a huge piece of the Calgary Flames future, as he will likely look to shift to center moving forward after playing the majority of this season on the wing, a position he's not been accustomed too.

While the likes of Martin Pospisil, Matt Coronato and Dustin Wolf all impressed at times throughout the season, no one was as consistently impactful as Zary, and with his hockey IQ, skillset, physicality and personality, he will be a name that Flames fans can get used to enjoying for the next few seasons.