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ZACH FISCHER - FIFTH-ROUND PICK

Medicine Hat Tigers right-winger notched career-high 34 goals in the Dub last season

by ALEX MEDINA @alex_medina5 / calgaryflames.com

All the long days at the rink and hard work has led to this surreal moment for Zach Fischer.

The Flames selected the Lloydminster product with the their fifth-round pick, 140th overall, after the 19-year-old had a breakout season with the Medicine Hat Tigers, highlighted by a WHL career high of 34 goals.

The moment the 6-foot-2, 207-lb. right-winger saw his name on the draft board, is a moment he will never forget.

"It's an exciting thing," Fischer said. "You work your whole life to get to this position to play in the NHL and to see my name up on the board and to celebrate it with my family is amazing."

After appearing in 35 games in his sophomore season, Fischer saw a jump in play during the 2016-17 season, skating in 62 games which led to becoming a point-a-game player, finishing the year with 63 points. Fischer spent most of the year in a pivotal top-six role, helping the Tigers finish first in the Central Division and second overall in the WHL with a 51-20-1 mark for 103 points.

It was a role that was welcomed and proved beneficial to the team, as Fischer showed what he's all about.

"Last year was a big confidence booster, it pushed me to the next level knowing I could do this night in and night out and being able to put the puck in the net and consistently play my game," Fischer said. "I am a two-way player whose probably one of the more physical guys in the league, who isn't afraid to get to the corners or the net."

And, although Fischer admits that it hasn't quite hit him fully that he has fulfilled his childhood dream of being drafted to an NHL team, the outlook is already on Flames Rookie Camp, which gets underway on July 4. He wants to make an impression with his play but also be a learning experience as to where his game stacks up again others.

"It's going to be really exciting to go out there and meet everyone involved with the organization," Fischer said. "To go there and see where I am at and what I need to work on will be beneficial to my development. I've already been working throughout the summer and working hard to further improve my game to become a better player."

As he celebrates this special day with his entire family, the strong bond that he has had with his father his entire life comes to mind as to the one who has helped him not only become the player that he has, but also the young man he is.

"My dad really helped me get to this point in my career. He's been there by my side and led me the whole since I was a little kid," Fischer said. "I've always been an underdog in my life and now to be rewarded with being drafted, the feeling is pretty ecstatic."

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