Photo by (Kyle Scholzen/Seattle Thunderbirds)
The New York Islanders announced the team has signed 1st round selection Mathew Barzal to an entry-level contract. Barzal was selected with the 16th overall pick. It is a standard three-year, entry-level deal.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 10, 2015
It was a bit shocking to find that the Islanders wound up with Barzal after the 1st round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. It seemed all but certain that the Boston Bruins were set up to snag him with one of their two early 1st round picks. Instead, the Bruins took fellow WHLer Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn.
Barzal instead fell to the Islanders and could wind up being the best steal in the entire draft. It might be safe to call him the best passer in the draft behind the big 2 in McDavid and Eichel.
The New York Islanders will be starting training camp soon where Barzal will be trying to make the team out of preseason and possibly a 9 game or less regular season preview as well. If he does not make the team, which is likely, he will return to the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.
“A smart, creative player with a wide, strong, fluid stride…plays a 200-foot game…makes good decisions with the puck…has decent strength, and looks bigger than listed…shows flashes of dominating offensive skills, but need to do so with more consistency…not overly physical, but will engage in contact for the puck…shows his creativity, vision and playmaking ability on the power play…finds seams and open ice with his impressive senses…really doing well in his rookie WHL season…has high-end offensive NHL upside” – Future Considerations