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.

Achievements:

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.

Skating

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

Comparable

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

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Comments

  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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