Mathew Barzal
Image: Chapin Landvogt/HF

Mathew Barzal

Hometown:

Coquitlam British Columbia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1997-05-26

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

1st round (16th overall), 2015

Weight:

177 lbs.

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History

2011-12: Mathew Barzal played for the Burnaby Winter Club Bantam squad in the PCBHL. In 51 games for that team, he scored 55 goals and added 98 assists for 153 points. Barzal was chosen in the first round, first overall, of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Seattle Thunderbirds.

2012-13: Barzal played for the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs of the BCMML. In 34 games for the Chiefs, he scored 29 goals and added 74 assists for 103 points to go along with 34 penalty minutes. Barzal also played in 6 games for the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL, notching 2 assists in those games. Barzal captained Team British Columbia at the 2012 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, where he scored 3 goals and added 5 assists in for 8 points in 4 games for the goal medal squad.

2013-14: Barzal competed in his WHL rookie season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. In 59 games for that club, he scored 14 goals and chipped in 40 assists for 54 points. Barzal also played in 9 playoff games for the Thunderbirds, scoring 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points. Barzal represented Canada at the 2014 U18 World Championship, scoring 3 goals and adding 1 assists for 4 points in 7 games for the bronze medal-winning team.

2014-15: Barzal was the Seattle Thunderbirds’s second-leading scorer in  his second WHL despite missing 28 games. He played for Canada at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and finished the year leading Canada in scoring at the 2014 U18 World Juniors. Barzal suffered an injury in early November that kept him out of action until late January. He scored 12 goals with 45 assists in 44 games, finishing one point behind leading scorer Ryan Gropp, and was +9 with 57 penalty minutes. The Thunderbirds were third in the U.S. Division and lost to Portland in a first-round series. Barzal scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was +2 with 4 penalty minutes in six playoff games. He led Canada’s bronze medal-winning squad at the 2018 WJC with 3 goals with 9 assists and was +2 in seven games. Barzal scored 2 goals with 5 assists in five games for the gold medal-winning team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He was selected for Team Orr in the 2015 CHL Top Prospects Game but missed the game due to his injury. Barzal was ranked 11th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by the New York Islanders in the first round (16th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Barzal is definitely more of a playmaker than a goal scorer at this stage of his development, with his playmaking skills being high-end. Also at an elite level is his skating as Barzal has quickness and acceleration as good as any player in the 2015 draft pool. Barzal has a decent frame but needs to fill it out to handle the rigors of the pro game. He is definite ly a student of the game, and has a good on-ice hockey IQ. There is a lot to suggest that Barzal is a high-end prospect, but the results haven't been quite as evident the past two seasons.

Future

Barzal was one of four Islanders' prospects to skate for Canada's U20 team during their summer camp and attended his first NHL training camp with New York. He is one of the WHL's top scorers for Seattle in 2015-16 in his third season with the Thunderbirds and skated for Canada at the 2016 World Juniors. Barzal's lack of size and bulk will be a challenge at the NHL level but his scoring ability and offensive instincts suggest he can be a special player in the future.

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Mathew Barzal - Seattle Thunderbirds

Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds forward and 2015 prospect Mathew Barzal is the early favorite to be the first player chosen from the WHL at the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

As much as the players are the show in junior hockey, the big stories across the WHL’s Western Conference heading into the 2014-15 season have occurred behind the bench. Half of the teams in the West, five of ten, will have a new bench boss at the helm when the regular season begins on September 19. Read more»

2014 U18 Video: Jake Virtanen and Matt Barzal, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt
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Matt Barzal - Seattle Thunderbirds

Photo: Seattle Thunderbirds forward and 2015 prospect Matt Barzal is one of a handful of players on Team Canada’s U18 squad that are still more than a year away from potentially having their named called at the NHL Draft (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Team Canada opened the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship with a well earned 3-1 win over Sweden. The Canadians are looking to successfully defend the gold medal that they won in Sochi last year at this tournament.

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