2015 NHL Draft options: Mathew Barzal

Updated: June 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm by Sean Cobourn

Name: Mathew Barzal

Born: May 26, 1997 (18) – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

Number: 13

Position: Center

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 181 lbs.

Shoots: Right

2014-2015 season: 57 points (12 G, 45 A) and a +13 in 44 games with the Thunderbirds. 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in seven games at the U18 World Junior Championships with Canada.

Awards

  • U18 Junior World Cup gold medal with Canada
  • U18 World Junior Championships silver medal with Canada
  • Named a top three player on Canada during the U18 World Junior Championships

Rankings

  • #8 (ISS Hockey)
  • #9 (Future Considerations)
  • #11 (NHL Central Scouting: North American skaters)
  • #11 (McKeen’s Hockey)
  • #15 (TSN’s Craig Button)
  • #17 (Hockey Prospect)

Elite ProspectsMatthew Barzal is an offensive forward with very good skating abilities. Has tremendous puck-handling and is poised with the puck, while looking for the perfect pass-option using his strong vision. Owns an excellent wrist shot with a remarkable release. Barzal reads the plays well, looking for interceptions and is not afraid to block shots, playing a reliable two-way game. A complete player with strong hockey sense.

NHL.com mock drafts

Adam Kimelman (11th overall to Florida): Injuries limited the 5-11, 175-pound forward to 44 games but he had 57 points. A dynamic offensive performer when healthy, he has shown an ability to raise his play when surrounded by better players.

Mike G. Morreale (14th overall to Boston)A fantastic east-to-west skater with the capability of creating time and space for linemates. The 5-11, 175-pound right-shot forward was the top center for the Thunderbirds. He has great vision, puck skills and playmaking ability. He had 45 assists and 57 points in 44 regular-season games, and scored four goals in six WHL playoff games.

Analysis

Barzal’s draft stock took a hit when he missed two months from cracking his kneecap (scoreless in first four games back), but he made up for it during the stretch run. In a full 72 game season, Mathew Barzal’s 12-45-57 averages to a 20-74-94. The numbers are more impressive when you see he spent the whole year as a 17 year old.

CHL forwards in TSN’s top 15 with points averaged out to 72 games

#1 Connor McDavid (C, OHL): 184

#4 Mitch Marner (RW, OHL): 144

#3 Dylan Strome (C, OHL): 137

#8 Timo Meier (RW, QMJHL): 106

#15 Mathew Barzal (C, WHL): 90

#11 Nick Merkley (RW, WHL): 90

#10 Lawson Crouse (LW, OHL): 66

-Side note: Stay away from Lawson Crouse.

Assuming Mathew Barzal falls to #7, he would be the best forward available. The Flyers don’t have a legit skill center in the system at the moment or a bona fide #2 center. Drafting Barzal would create a logjam down the road in the middle. If you’re keeping Brayden Schenn as a winger, there’s still Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton planted behind Giroux. I suggested yesterday the Flyers could trade back to #8 and acquire assets so Columbus can select Ivan Provorov. No matter what Ron Hextall does on draft day, the Flyers are getting an impact player 7th overall.

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