Here are accumulated notes on two of the 2020 NHL Draft’s top forward prospects from two of the top amateur scouts in the business, and a highy-respected CHL coach. The scouts are crossover ones that see prospects in all of the leagues on both sides of the ocean. Opinions were gathered at various points in the season.
Connor Zary – C Kamloops WHL 2001-09-25 6-0.25 178
2019-20 Stats – 57 38 48 86 Shoots Left
Ontario-based crossover scout Feb. 2020 – He’s a good player. The skating doesn’t look great, but it doesn’t seem like it’s a problem. Good playmaking center; he’s a good player. I don’t see it as a fatal flaw. He’s going to improve. He moves pretty well as it is, so I think he will be fine. I think that there’s a little bit more natural offence with Zary than with Bourque; a little bit more of a wow factor. He sees the ice extremely well. Last year, Kamloops was horrendous, and he was their lifeline. Any offence they really had was through him, and that’s not easy to do at that age. Teams could key on him to shut their offence down, and he still had a really solid year.
Quebec-based crossover scout Apr. 2020 – Zary is a little kneed in, not the most agile guy, but very smart and crafty. He gets open a lot, he stays on the perimeter a bit, but he’s available a lot too…he knows where to go. He’s a creative guy for sure, and he can score too. He’s got a good shot.
Ontario-based CHL coach – He has a lot of hockey sense, he has a feel for the game, he moves the puck really well and is a really good playmaker. He has a feel offensively; he’s really special. His skating is tough…and that’s too bad. His skating is the problem. I want to play with guys who make plays if I’m his teammate. It’s fun to play with a guy who makes plays. If I play with Zary, I’m excited. I know I will have to backcheck and cover his ass defensively, but I can do that. But if I play with someone who can’t make plays or give me the puck when I’m open, it’s a long and boring night. Zary will give me the puck when I’m open. He has a feel for the game, he knows what the next play should be…he can feel it.
Seth Jarvis – RW Portland WHL 2002-02-1 5-9.75 175
2019-20 Stats – 58GP 42 56 98Pts Shoots Right
Ontario-based crossover scout Apr. 2020 – I was on my way to get my updated view on him when all of this went down. High skills, high everything. Our staff likes him and he has really risen in the rankings from all accounts. He had quite a season offensively, and was the main cog on a very good team.
Quebec-based crossover scout Apr. 2020 – He’s really dynamic. Small, but marginally to moderately competitive. He’s not soft…he’s got dynamic ability. He’s just not very big. He sees it really well. Under pressure he can direct pucks to guys that are really open without having to battle. He can score too, he’s really good on the power play. He’s on a good junior team and he got great opportunity and he executed. He’s not a real defensive player, he’s always the last guy back. He has to break a few habits…but he answers the question of those small guys having to be dynamic; he’s got a dynamic quality…so..that’s all you can ask. He’s a precision shooter, and he has options…he can make plays all day. His feet are “backing off speed”. Defencemen really had a hard time handling him, he could really back them off.
Ontario-based crossover scout Apr. 2020 – I really like him. I didn’t get a good appreciation for him until I went back in February in back-to-back games on the road. He’s undersized, but he’s another guy that makes others better. He makes plays that the average player wouldn’t think of, he thinks the game a step ahead. and he’s got that drive; quick feet, quick hands, quick mind. He drives the play. He projects to be a second-line winger; at worst a third-line offensive winger who is a power-play guy. You wish he had a little more size. You could go with safer picks like Holloway, but they certainly don’t have the offensive flair that a guy like this does. If you are swinging for a home run – trying to get a top-six power-play guy that is going to run some offence, you take a guy like Jarvis.