Mathew Barzal

by michaelfarkas on November 26, 2017

 

Mathew Barzal, C

Shoots: R

Height: 6-0

Weight: 187

Born: 1997-05-26

Hometown: Vancouver, BC, CAN

Drafted: 2015 by the New York Islanders, 16th overall

 

 

 

Observations:

November 2017 – Barzal continues to impress. With 23 points in 23 games this season, it’s not unreasonable to mention the rookie as possibly the Islanders best player this season. He distributes the puck like a top-six center already and shows little signs of slowing down. He has the hockey sense to adapt to his surroundings to boot. Barzal should be owned in all formats, of course. Michael Farkas

 

October 2017 – The 16th overall pick in 2015 has made the Islanders straight out of junior. After a 10-goal, 79-point season with Seattle (WHL) that was capped with a playoff MVP award and WHL championship, Barzal jumps right into a prime NHL spot on the New York roster. Barzal plays in the middle-six at even strength but sees plenty of power play time early.

His long speed and hands have improved markedly over the last couple of seasons. His somewhat hunched over posture and wide skating base compromises his first step a bit, but he has absolutely no trouble getting around the rink. He has already shown the ability to cross lines while carrying the puck at the pro level. Barzal has wonderful attention to detail and top-end hockey sense. The skill package might be appreciating at an even greater rate than first anticipated. As such, Barzal has the upside to be a low- to mid-tier first line center at the NHL level and a higher-end power play quarterback type from the side boards or from down low.  Michael Farkas

January 2017 – Mathew Barzal once again showed why is he one of the best young prospects of any NHL team. Many people who watched the World Juniors got a glimpse of one of the purest puck handlers, and passers of anyone in his age group. As time goes on, he is looking more and more like a steal with the 16th pick overall. Named one of Team Canadas top three players again (he was last year also) he was a key contributor in every game of the tournament. Barzal has the skills and the vision to be a deadly weapon on the powerplay, but he showed his range and creativity 5 on 5 as well. Playing the year out in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds, he will continue to round out his defensive game, and be dominant in the face off circle so he is ready for the NHL. It is very realistic to assume we see Barzal in an Islanders jersey next season. Kevin Pedersen

November 2016 – Unfortunately for Barzal, he was sent back to Junior (Seattle Thunderbirds WHL) after only playing two games with the Islanders. Some may say that his play and a few untimely penalties contributed to the demotion, but ultimately he was only averaging 9:45 of ice time, and had to spend much of his time up with the big club in the press box. This is the right move for Barzal long-term in his development into an everyday NHLer. Fear not Barzal owners because he still projects to be a legitimate second line center at the NHL level with great vision and the ability to make other players around him better. He has tremendous vision and now that he's had a taste of the NHL I expect him to work harder to make his way back. It won't be a surprise if he goes back to the WHL and dominates offensively right where he left off from his 88 point season last year. He does need to improve defensively but that will mature as his game does, and there is reason to believe he could turn into a Claude Giroux, Nicklas Backstrom type pivot. Note: Barzal should suit up for Canada at the World Juniors. Kevin Pedersen

July 2016 – Mathew Barzal put up 88 points (63 of them primary) in 58 games for Seattle in the WHL in 2015-16. He finished seventh in the WHL in terms of primary points per game played. All of this seems very positive. However, a closer look shows that Barzal did a disproportionate amount of his damage while on the power play. He was third in the league in primary power play points, compared to thirty-second at even strength. Obviously, the Islanders would probably like to see one of their system’s crown jewels show a little more dominance at 5-on-5 when playing against his peers. Nevertheless, if Barzal has a quality training camp, he may well get a nine game look with the big club at the start of next season. Brent Craswell

Dec 2015 – Announcers from TSN keep repeating that Barzal was one of the last selections for Team Canada at the World Junior's, started as the 13th forward, and so far he is making it look as though both decisions were silly for Canada. He has been one of the better forwards for Canada and has moved firmly into the top 6. Versus the USA he was one of Canada's best and most consistent forwards, and again against Denmark he is proving the same. There was a reason the Isles moved as fast as they could when he was available at #16. Pat Quinn

Nov 2015 – Barzal, who was one of the final cuts from Islanders training camp, is again one of the top players in the WHL. Currently an assistant for the Seattle Thunderbirds the talented Barzal has 25 points in 14 games, 21 of those being assists. It`ll take some time before he is on the Isles roster but he is still one to own in keeper leagues. Pat Quinn

Oct 2015 – Barzal was one of the final cuts for the Islanders as he was a stand out in training camp and exhibition play. He vary nearly made the team but ultimately the Islanders had too much depth to keep him and felt a year in teh WHL would better suit his development. He will return to the Seattle Thunderbirds where he will be a top player in the entire WHL. Pat Quinn

June 2015 – The New York Islanders shrewdly traded up with the Oilers to draft Mathew Barzal 16th overall. At that point, New York got great value despite having to trade Griffin Reinhart. Brendan Ross

February 2015 – After an impressive WHL rookie season where Barzal showed he could produce, he entered his draft season with some jump scoring often. Unfortunately, a broken knee cap has kept him out of action for most of the season but he’s since returned and is eager to re-establish himself as one of the drafts best offensive talents. Barzal is an intelligent pivot and owns creative instincts. He’s always hovering around the puck looking to make a difference and with his slick puck skills and strong attacking skills, he usually finds a way. After returning from injury, Barzal went pointless in his first four games before putting up a four-assist game on January 30th and now has four goals and nine assists for 13 points over his last eight games. Barzal represents a potential Top 10 pick and will surely see his draft stock rise as he re-gains momentum in his play. Brendan Ross

 

Fantasy Outlook: A-

Barzal is a high-end offensive talent whose vision and playmaking skills elevate his linemates around him. He projects as a top-six pivot with first-line upside and should be drafted accordingly. Barzal has drawn comparisons to Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

 

Footage:

Matt Barzal Highlights (2013-14):

 

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