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Connor Zary had stellar season as Calgary Wranglers lone ironman

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Photo credit:Terence Leung/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
1 year ago
Connor Zary was a productive and dynamic player for the Calgary Wranglers in the 2022-23 season. He bounced around the lineup and alternated his position at times, but still found ways to climb his way to second overall in team scoring. He was there through every game and had much better luck on the injury front. He really showed signs of maturing as a player this year and the way his trajectory is going, he’s going to be even better next season. 

By the numbers

Regular season

When Jakob Pelletier was a Wranglers regular in the first half of the season, Zary spent his time chasing him in the team scoring standings. When Pelletier got his NHL shot, Zary overthrew his spot at second and battled with Ben Jones for that title. He ended up winning that competition and finished the season secured at second in team scoring below Matthew Phillips with 21 goals and 37 assists for a total of 58 points.
Connor Zary was the only Calgary ironman this season, playing in all 72 regular season games. He was averaging a point per game average of 0.81 and went two for four in his shootout attempts. Zary jumped all over the lineup and got time with Mitch McLain, Ben Jones, Cole Schwindt and Dryden Hunt, among others. He also got looks from the wing and centre. His game performance seemed more consistent and natural when he was at center, although.
He still got his chances with the best guys on the team starting the year on a line with Jakob Pelletier and Matthew Phillips. On paper, this was a dangerous line combination, but something didn’t quite click with the three of them. He still got chances on the top power play unit with them however and was often the extra body they’d call on for a 6-on-5 opportunity, whether it was a delayed penalty call or empty net at their end. 

Post-season

Zary participated in all nine of the Wranglers’ post-season games and earned one goal and three assists for a total of four points. He split his points between both series with two points against the Abbotsford Canucks and the other two against the Coachella Valley Firebirds. His lone goal game in game two of the Firebirds series at home when his team picked up their first win of the series. 
This goal was also the most memorable and filthiest goal of the Wranglers’ playoff run. It’s definitely worth another look.
For playoffs, Zary most consistently played on a line with Dryden Hunt and Walker Duehr. 

Next season 

Connor Zary is still on his entry level contract and is signed through the 2024-25 season before he becomes a restricted free agent. He’s always been one of the more closely observed prospects and is going to want to continue to develop and hit another stride in his career to possibly follow in the footsteps of some of his peers. He’s going to be wanting to get his crack at the Flames’ lineup for a few games in the 2023-24 season.

Rating 

Connor Zary had an exceptional season with the Wranglers and given more opportunity and ice time could really elevate his play to be one of the most integral players in future seasons. I rate Zary an A for his efforts in 2022-23.

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