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Zayne Parekh Scouting Report: 2024 NHL Draft #9

Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Writers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2024 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, and Frederik Frandson on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! Today we bring you our Zayne Parekh Scouting Report.

Zayne Parekh had one of the most productive offensive seasons for a draft eligible defenceman in quite some time. Parekh put up 33 goals and 63 assists of 96 points in 66 games for the Saginaw Spirit. He led all OHL defencemen in both goals and points. Parekh was a key piece to Saginaw finishing with the second most points in the league. He has also added two goals and seven points in seven OHL playoff games so far. Parekh also excelled on the international stage this year. He played for Team Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in the summer. He put up three assists in five tournament games, helping Canada win the gold medal.

The Saginaw Spirit drafted the Nobleton, Ontario native, Parekh with the 19th overall pick in the 2022 OHL Draft. He immediately showed his skill in the league. As a 16-year-old Parekh scored 21 goals and 16 assists for 37 points in 50 games. He also added three goals and nine points in 11 playoff games. Parekh was named to the OHL and CHL All-Rookie Teams. He also played for Team Canada Black at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored three goals and five points in seven tournament games.

Zayne Parekh 2024 NHL Draft Scouting Report

Right Defence — shoots Right
Born February 15th, 2006 — Nobleton, Ontario
Height 6’0″ — Weight 178 lbs [183 cm / 81 kg]


Parekh’s skating is a bit hit and miss. His edgework, agility, and lateral movement are absolutely elite. Parekh is very slippery with the puck on his stick, able to move side-to-side and create space both with and without the puck. However, he needs to work on his straightline speed. His first few steps are good. However, his acceleration and top-end speed are merely average. This is true in both directions. His stride is short and choppy which prevents him from being an elite skater. Parekh is also strong on the puck. He is able to control the puck and fight through checks. He is also decent in battles on the boards. This should continue to improve as he gets stronger and adds muscle to his frame.

Offensive Game

Zayne Parekh is a riverboat gambler, always pushing the offence. It is not unusual to find Parekh joining or even leading the rush. With the play in the offensive zone, he loves to pinch in on the boards or even to get himself into the slot to create a scoring chance. He is able to do this and get back defensively most of the time at the junior level. However, it remains to be seen if he can do it at the next level due to his lack of straight-line speed. He will need to learn to pick his spots going forward and work on his defence. However, that is something that can be worked on and can be taught. Parekh has a level of offensive skill and the instincts to create scoring chances that come naturally and is much harder to teach to a young player.

Parekh has an excellent array of shots. He can score with his slap-shot and one-timer from the point. He also understands how to keep his shot low and allow his teammates to get deflections, screens and rebounds. However, the bread and butter of Parekh’s game is his excellent wrist shot and snapshot. He can score off the rush or sneak in from the point and let his shot go at the top of the circles. His release is quick and deceptive. It fools goalies. Parekh is also an excellent playmaker. His lateral agility and edgework allow him to open up shooting and passing lanes. He has excellent vision and can make a tape-to-tape pass to set up a teammate.

Defensive Game

Parekh’s willingness to push the offence can sometimes lead to a turnover, or to being caught up the ice while his opponent’s generate a scoring chance. His lack of footspeed can also sometimes lead to him getting caught flat-footed and beaten off the rush. When he is in the play, his defensive game is very good. Parekh is able to use an active stick to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. He also uses a pokecheck to create turnovers. Parekh uses good positioning to cut off plays and keep his opponent to the outside. When a turnover is created, he helps clear the zone and create offence in transition.

Projection and Comparison

Parekh certainly has all the skills to be a power-play quarterback at the next level. In fact, his offensive game is pretty close to NHL ready. However, he will need to work on his skating and his defensive play before he is ready to take the next step. If he can improve in those areas, he could play big minutes and be part of his team’s top pair. However, if that doesn’t come, he will see limited even-strength minutes but big minutes on the power play. Expect Parekh to spend another year in the OHL to work on his deficiencies and put muscle on his frame. His game is reminiscent of P.K. Subban. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.


The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Zayne Parkh that are available on YouTube and Twitter.


Check back later for our next draft article.


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