Saturday, June 27, 2015

Meet Mathew Barzal

photo by hockeynow

Last night, the Islanders traded Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for a first and second round pick in the draft.

With the first round pick, they selected center Mathew Barzal from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.  In 44 games last season, Barzal had 57 points including 45 assists.  

The pick was praised among pretty much all fans and most analysts as well.  Prior to the start of the season, Barzal was thought to be a top 5 talent in this draft class.  The main reason he slipped so low was due to a knee injury that kept him out for part of the season of the season.  According to Arthur Staple, Barzals presence at 16 was the only reason the Islanders made the deal with the Oilers.  
The main strength of Barzals game is his play making ability as evidenced by his high assist total this season.  He is also an above average skater, according to hockey's future.

I hadn't thought about it til now but does his selection signal that Frans Nielsen time with the team could be winding down?  Interesting to think about in the coming season as Nielsen is in the final year of a 4 year contract


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