Mathew Barzal: 2015 NHL Top Prospect

Mathew Barzal — 

Winnipeg Hockey Talk’s evaluations of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft top prospects continue today with our featured prospect Mathew Barzal.

League:  WHL     Team: Seattle Thunderbirds

Position:  C     Shoots:  Right

DOB:  May 26, 1997     Birthplace:  Coquitlam, BC

Height: 6’0     Weight:  180

2014-15 WHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 44   G: 12   A: 45  Pts: 57  PIM: 20   Plus/Minus: +13

2014-15 WHL Stats:  Playoffs 

Games: 6  G: 4   A: 4  Pts: 8  PIM: 8   Plus/Minus: +2

Mathew Barzal played this past season in the WHL for the Seattle Thunderbirds.


1.  Selected 1st overall in the 1st round by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

2.  Represented Canada and won a Gold Medal at the 2014-15 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament .

3.  Represented Canada and won a Bronze Medal at the 2013-14 and 2014-15 U18 WJC.

4.  Played for Team Orr at the 2014-15 CHL Top Prospects game.

Offensive Buzzwords

Mathew Barzal is a highly skilled offensive center.  He has good hands, very good on-ice vision and has a knack for finding open teammates.  Barzal has a better than average shot that is probably under-utilized.


Mathew Barzal is a very good skater with better than average speed.  He has very good balance and agility and can make plays while at top speed.

#14 Mathew Barzal:  video from the U18 WJC – 5:16 

Defensive Buzzwords

Mathew Barzal has a decent but not great defensive game that will need a little work as he moves up to the pro-level.  

Prospect Analysis

From Cody Nickolet: website –  whlfromabove

overall I see Barzal as a potential solid number two center at the NHL level with his lack of defensive value, size and strength holding him back from reaching that true number one status … I think he will be an electric offensive guy but might need to be sheltered away from bigger lines at that next level, stopping me from classifying him as that “true #1” type of center


Brad Richards when he was with the Tampa Lightning.

Mathew Barzal is a 1st round selection for sure.  He projects a Top 2 centerman that could play on a teams powerplay and in all offensive situations.  Barzal plays a solid two-way game that is still improving.  Like a lot of eighteen-year-olds he will need to bulk up a bit to be able to physically compete better against men at the NHL level. 

Projected:  #12 – #16



  1. George Bain says

    I watched him play at the U18 WJC and was impressed by his skating and passing skills. I wonder if he’s on the Jet’s radar in the draft? I would be happy with him or Merkley.

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