Zayne Parekh is here.

And for Calgary’s ninth-overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, his first taste of pro hockey is a family affair.

Parekh landed in Alberta earlier this week along with older brother Isa, who was invited to Flames Development Camp after a standout season with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers.

Zayne’s first strides in Flames colours were one of the focal points of Thursday’s sessions at WinSport - the smooth-skating defenceman hit the ice amid plenty of hype, and plenty of excitement.

“I was really excited to get on the ice,” he said with a wide smile after the skill session. “I haven’t skated in a little while, (so) just getting things back in place.”

That’s not to say the younger Parekh hasn’t been busy. This time last month, he was hoisting the Memorial Cup as a member of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit.

He followed that experience up with a trip to the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, then a separate camp in Florida, then - of course - the NHL Draft experience in Las Vegas, where Flames GM Craig Conroy called him down to the stage last Friday night with the first of Calgary’s two first-round picks.

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“(It’s) been a whirlwind for the past two months to be honest, I’ve had a really busy schedule but it feels good to finally let things settle down,” Parekh said. “I’m enjoying this Flames gear, I think it looks good on me and suits me well!”

The Flames gear looks pretty good on Isa, too. The 20-year-old begins his NCAA career in the fall at Bemidji State after junior stops in North York, Georgetown and Nanaimo.


Isa Parekh takes it all in during Thursday's skate at WinSport

The elder Parekh earned a camp invite from the Flames a couple of weeks before the Draft, and he’s here not only to make an impression, but compete against his younger sibling and camp roommate.

“We’re going to push each other, we’re going to battle,” Isa said. “We’re on opposite teams, so when the scrimmage comes, maybe hit each other a couple times.”

“It’s awesome, it keeps me so comfortable,” Zayne added when asked how it feels to have his brother here in Calgary alongside him. “Going through the Draft process, I kind of knew he was coming here, coming to Development Camp.

“It kind of hit me an hour after I got drafted that I’d be going with him to Development Camp, I thought it was awesome.”

Isa and the rest of the Parekh family were at every game at the Memorial Cup in Saginaw, too, watching the host Spirit and cheering Zayne on to major junior hockey immortality.

Zayne was front and centre on that Saginaw squad, earning Canadian Hockey League Defenceman of the Year honours during the tournament to help cap off a special season.

“He loves scoring goals, he loves having fun, he likes to celly,” Isa said of Zayne’s game. “Amazing skater. You watch him walk the blueline, you watch him go through people, watch his hockey sense, he finds people back-door. Even though he had 33 goals, he still had 60-something assists.”

This week’s Development Camp really is proof positive that some things are just meant to be, though.

Two brothers, together again.

Enjoying the experience and soaking up the moment after an unforgettable Draft night at Sphere.

“He had a couple meetings with other teams before and we had a pretty good idea on where he was going to go, but when he fell to Calgary we were very surprised,” Isa said. “We’re really happy, it’s a great franchise.

“He’s really lucky to be part of this organization.”

"Our family's really happy"