More like Fri-Yay!

The Flames put an exclamation point on the first Friday of July by signing a trio of top prospects - defencemen Zayne Parekh and Etienne Morin, along with forward Matvei Gridin - to entry-level deals.

Parekh and Gridin have been part of the organization for only a week, after both were selected in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft, while Morin was a second-round pick by Calgary a summer ago.

The trio put pen to paper in an upstairs meeting room at WinSport Friday morning, all under the watchful eye of Flames GM Craig Conroy, whose million-watt smile was on full display.

“It was pretty special,” Conroy said. “I’ve done one at a time, but to do all three at one time was pretty special, and to have Isa here with Zayne, to have him witness the contract I thought was pretty cool, too.”

Behind the scenes as Parekh, Gridin & Morin ink deals

Isa, Zayne’s older brother by three years, was witness to Zayne’s signing - a neat little wrinkle to an already special Friday for the Parekh family.

The two are sharing the Development Camp experience together and for Zayne, having one of his siblings on hand on signing day was an added bonus.

“It is pretty cool, obviously,” he said. “I think he’s having a really good camp, too. Hopefully they invite him back to rookie camp, and he lights it up there too, but I’ve heard only good things about the way he’s skated.”

Parekh, the ninth-overall pick in last week’s Draft and reigning Canadian Hockey League Defenceman of the Year, says he found out something might be up while on a call with his agents and his father Thursday.

“We were all on a video chat,” he recalled. “They didn’t tell me about any of this, so (one of his agents) just asked me, ‘Are you ready to be an NHL player?’ I kind of figured that I was getting something in terms of an NHL contract.

“My face lit up.”

Parekh’s far from the only player who’s turned heads this week.

Gridin, who led the USHL in scoring last season with 83 points as a 17-year-old, has also been showing off his silky mitts in skill sessions. The Russian-born player was thrilled to put pen to paper on an entry-level pact Friday.

“It was my dream since (I was) two years old,” he said. “The job just starts right now.”

Morin said Friday he's been eager to take on more of a leadership role at this year's summer camp and for him, an entry-level contract represents continued confidence from the organization after what he admits was a difficult 2023-24 campaign.

The Moncton Wildcats defender collected 49 points in the QMJHL last winter, and he’s grateful to have had help from the Flames during the tougher moments of the season - one which was capped off by a pro debut with the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers in April.

The GM on Parekh, Gridin and Morin signing ELCs

“They were there for me every single time, helping me and battling through the year,” the 19-year-old said. “I’m excited to sign that contract and be here.”

For Parekh, Gridin and Morin, Friday’s signatures represent the next step toward becoming full-time pros.

But for Conroy, having the trio locked into futures here in Calgary is another win for the club’s long-term vision, a follow-up to an NHL Draft class oozing with potential.

“Everybody wanted to do it, everybody was excited,” Conroy said. “They like where the team’s going, they’re happy and they want to be a part of it, and we thought, ‘Why wait?’

“We want to get these guys signed and done, and to get it done this quick was perfect, especially when we’re all here together.”

The trio will wrap up the on-ice portion of Development Camp Saturday with a scrimmage that will be live-streamed beginning at 10 a.m. MT.

From there, the group might just get a taste of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth to tie a bow on the week.

Even if Parekh needs to find himself a brand-new pair of Alberta boots.

"I think we should have put that in the contract!” he said with a laugh.

“Maybe get a cowboy hat, too, with a Flames logo on it."