LAS VEGAS — The Utah Hockey Club went with legendary offspring for its first-ever selection in the NHL draft Friday, selecting forward Tij Iginla, the son of former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, at No. 6 overall.

Iginla is coming off a standout season for the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, where he produced 47 goals and 84 points in 64 games. The 17-year-old could barely wrap his head around taking a place in the history books as the first draftee to the NHL’s newest expansion team.

“It’s unreal,” Iginla said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”

Utah will slide into the Central Division next season after the league relocated its former Arizona Coyotes club to Salt Lake City in April. Rather than go through an expansion draft (as new franchisees usually do), Utah inherited the entire Coyotes roster, management and coaching group.

Now Iginla is part of the franchise and will look to follow in his famous father’s footsteps. The elder Iginla played over 1,500 games in the NHL, scoring 625 goals and 1,300 points, prior to retiring in 2017. Iginla was a six-time NHL All-Star, and in 2020 was elected to the NHL Hall of Fame.

Iginla shares some similarities with his father on the ice, including an excellent release and quick hands. Where Iginla has his dad beat already, though, is that he was drafted five places higher than where the Dallas Stars grabbed Jarome Iginla at No. 11 in 1995. But don’t expect the younger Iginla to be needling pops about that just yet.

“I’ve got to build my resume a little bit before I can brag,” he said, laughing.

Jarome Iginla, for his part, couldn’t be happier to see where his son ended up.

“You dream of it,” he said. “You don’t know how the day’s going to be. We’re up there and it’s so unpredictable. Every city’s a great city, but Utah, we’re excited. We’re very happy for him. He’s worked hard, and it’s a big day.”

It was a slow climb for Iginla to be thought of as a top-10 prospect. While playing for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds in 2022-23, Iginla produced just six goals and 18 points in 48 games. It was his subsequent trade from Seattle to Kelowna — and his torrid pace for the Rockets last season — that vaulted Iginla up draft boards. Iginla was also part of Team Canada’s 2024 U18 team; during the tournament, he put up six goals and 12 points in seven games and scored the game winner for Canada to secure a gold medal.

Iginla might not skate directly into Utah’s lineup next year, but the experience of Friday’s festivities won’t soon be forgotten.

“It’s a huge honor,” he said. “It would have been a surreal feeling to hear my name called by any team, but to be the first pick of a franchise is really cool.”