HOW GOOD IS MATHEW BARZAL?

Mathew Barzal is an exceptional young hockey player. Size concerns and a significant injury have him lagging behind the top of the draft in terms of buzz, but don’t be fooled about him. Young Barzal is among the very best players available in this year’s draft.

Mathew Barzal’s scouting report on himself lists IQ and skating as extreme positives and that sounds about right. 

SCOUTING REPORTS

Source

  • Mike Morreale, NHL.com: A fantastic east-to-west skater with the ability to create time and
    space for linemates. The top center for the Thunderbirds has great
    vision and puck skills. He’s an outstanding playmaker, as evidenced by
    his 45 assists and 57 points in 44 games. Source.
  • Chris Battaglia, The Score:Mathew Barzal’s draft stock was jeopardized by a serious knee injury
    that sidelined him for more than two months, but he’s making up for lost
    time following a stellar month of February. Barzal cracked his
    kneecap in an off-ice incident in November and didn’t return until late
    January. He went scoreless in his first four games back for the Seattle
    Thunderbirds but was held off the scoresheet in just two of the next 16
    contests. Barzal recorded 21 points in 12 February games and is
    once again considered a top prospect at center alongside projected
    top-10 picks like Mitch Marner and Dylan Strome. Source
  • Corey Pronman, ESPN: Barzal might not be familiar in the mainstream, due to a knee injury
    that has kept him out of several major events. But in the scouting
    world, everyone knows this player very well and nothing has changed
    despite the injury. He’s been a top-end prospect for many years, and
    continues to be one, playing very well since coming back from his
    injury. Source
  • Cody Nickolet, WHL From Above: While he missed a significant chunk of time due to a broken
    kneecap, he has since returned and has looked quite good in doing so. He is an
    intriguing combination of hands, skating ability and vision. He reads the play
    at a very high level, can execute tough plays on the forehand and backhand and
    also has the ability to burn a defence with speed if gaps aren’t kept up to
    snuff.  While his numbers weren’t amazing
    pre-injury and haven’t been mind-blowing post-injury (5 points in 6 games) I
    haven’t seen enough from any one particular WHL skater to dethrone him
    (Provorov is coming on strong, though). I continue to expect him to be drafted
    somewhere in the 8-12 range come draft day. Source 

WHERE WILL HE GO?

Barzal’s draft number will be impacted by his injury, the question is how much? He could help himself a great deal with a strong playoff (Barzal scored twice in the first game) showing and that could propel him near the top five overall. It’s likely Barzal hears his name called inside the top 10.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’m of the mind if the oilers don’t get Mcdavid or Eichel, they should use the pick in a package to get a top 2 dman. I’m sure Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles wouldn’t mind Hanafin or Strome to help alleviate their cap crunch.

    Keep the Pitts pick for drafting bpa for the future.

    • Serious Gord

      I’ve been looking at the Bruins situation. If – and that’s a big if – they don’t make the playoffs I think they will be looking to clean house – and that includes chara and Lucic – both if whom are having off years and are on the down side of their careers.

      It wouldn’t hurt to ask. But I think mact/klowe are too daft and unimaginative to initiate.

  • vetinari

    Two concerns with looking at him as an Oilers fan. First, knee injuries are nasty and seem like they never fully heal. Second, the dangles and cuts are really nice at the CHL level, but watch how our top line kids and Schultz got burned for turnover after turnover by getting separated from the puck by NHL defenders in the first half of the season. Wish this kid a great hockey future but unless he falls to somewhere around the Pittsburgh pick, I would hope our scouts pass on him.

  • Serious Gord

    Looking forward to the “how good is Crouse” article!

    I know he’s probably not in the range of the oiler picks, but i think a big, physical forechecking left winger like him is the exact player type that would look good on the second line with yak and Draisaitl in the future.

  • The Soup Fascist

    After watching the video of a 10 year old Mitch Marner, I am pretty sure his mom already sits behind me at the Oilers games. Which is why I wear ear plugs.

    Lowetide can you confirm Marner’s Mom did background vocals for House of Pain’s Jump Around?

  • The Soup Fascist

    All these dangles work in the CHL, but just like in other sports what works in College or juniors, won’t work in the Pro’s. Example is the NFL. How many successful College qb’s were unsuccesful in the NFL because they couldn’t run a pro style offense? My point being is that to be successful in the pro’s you have to be able to adjust to the pro’s and must already have the iq and awareness. The NHL is NOT a development league and the Oilers have showed that

  • The Soup Fascist

    Sitting at the Moda Center right now watching Portland vs Seattle. Haven’t noticed Barzal being that special. But that Bjorkstrand holy crap why couldn’t we have picked him! Ridiculous speed and one hell of a shot!!