San Jose Sharks #9: C Mathew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbirds – WHL)
Original Pick #9: LW/RW Timo Meier (Halifax Mooseheads – QMJHL)
Mathew Barzal is one of the most skilled players in the NHL today due to his incredible skating and skills with the puck. Highlight reel plays of jaw-dropping plays are kind of the norm for this British Columbian.
Drafting the players of the Western Hockey League, one of the three major junior sub-leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League, can be a hit-or-miss swing as it is considered the weakest in the trio. Because the competition isn’t as high as the OHL or QMJHL, top players from the West tend to fall towards the middle of the lot, regardless of their production. Nolan Patrick, the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft was the latest bust to be taken from the WHL.
Mat Barzal, however, is the furthest thing from a bust. While he had to take an extra two years to develop, it proved to be fruitful as he burst onto the NHL scene with 22 goals and 63 assists in a full 82 game season for the New York Islanders.
Since then, Barzal has often found doing what he does best, as he cracks SportsCenter Top 10 lists on the regular. While Timo Meier is proving to be a valuable player taken at No. 9 overall for the San Jose Sharks, Mathew Barzal is by far superior.