Tij Iginla UTAH

Tij Iginla, the No. 6 pick of the 2024 NHL Draft and the first player to be selected by the Utah Hockey Club, signed a three-year, entry-level contract Thursday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"It was really cool to hear a big cheer when my name was called," Iginla said Tuesday during Utah development camp. "I think the fans have been so welcoming to the hockey club and to me as well. It looks like we're going to have some of the best fans in the League down the road and it should be a lot of fun."

The 17-year-old forward was tied for sixth in the Western Hockey League last season with 47 goals in 64 games for Kelowna, and had 12 points (six goals, six assists) in seven games for Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Under-18 Championship to help them win a gold medal.

"I told him when I met with him, I said, 'We've got a lot of 20-goal-scorers on our roster, we're looking for a 50-goal scorer. No pressure,'" Utah general manager Bill Armstrong said June 28. "We really love him, not only as a person but as a player. He has everything that we like."

Tij Iginla signs contract with Utah

Iginla is the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla, and said a lot of his offseason will be continuing to work with his father on improving his game.

"He's been huge for my development," Tij said Tuesday. "It’ll be good to get back home and keep working on all parts of my game with him, and then I got my brother and sister, so we get out on the ice lots and just kind of work on whatever we got for the day.

"The focus is to just keep improving in all parts of my game. Just have a big summer and go into next season, whatever it is, and just keep trying to improve my game as much as I can."

Iginla likely will spend at least one more season with Kelowna, where he is expected to be a full-time center after splitting last season between center and left wing.

But the Utah player development staff already has been impressed.

"I think the thing that stood out was the work ethic, high motor, and then just the willingness to play on the inside, which is critical in the NHL," Utah director of player development Lee Stempniak said. "That's where the goals are scored, and [he has] that willingness, which is great to see."

NHL.com independent correspondent Matthew Komma contributed to this report

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