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Seattle announces the signing of Mathew Barzal

At a press conference this morning/afternoon at the WHL Awards presentation, the Thunderbirds have announced the signing of 2012 1st overall Bantam Pick Mathew Barzal.

This is, quite obviously, a huge turning point for the Seattle franchise. Barzal is a once a decade (maybe more) type of talent who will see immediate time on the Power Play and has a very good chance to post significant points in his 16 year old season.

From what I saw during training camp... Barzal is exceptionally gifted with vision and hands for a player his age. He isn't the dynamic scorer that you would associate with someone like Ovechkin but he has a good shot and will score his fair share of goals (and possibly more as he matures). He's a player that has a very good chance of playing only 2 seasons in Seattle, being selected in the 2015 NHL draft and never seeing the WHL again.

Beyond having Barzal playing in Seattle next season, his presence also could create a domino effect whereby players like Ryan Gropp and Dylan Gambrell might come to Seattle simply for the opportunity to play with Barzal.

Nothing is guaranteed. Barzal isn't guaranteed to be a superstar any more than any player is guaranteed anything but... I will say this... Barzal is more talented than any draft pick Seattle has had in a very long time. Remember how excited everyone was when Thomas Hickey burst onto the scene as a 15 year old? Barzal has a chance to be better and more special than that.

Let's not hand the championship trophy to the Tbirds quite yet... but this is a major step in the right direction for the franchise.

Is it September yet?


Mr Tell13 said...

The training camp will be interesting for sure. As of now I am counting only 2 spots open on forward for a 4 lines lineup (assuming a bunch of things but still) and that is without anyone else signing (Gropp or Gambrell)
I hope it will create excitement for players to be ready and compete hard as much as maybe encourage a few more signing.

On defense, I feel it is already clogged up with Bear possibly making the team.

Wonder if Russ will manage something interesting this week. If he could manage to trade for a guy like Forsberg and find an experienced quality goaltender, that would be big (preferably not just a 20y/o).

Unknown said...

Is it September yet? I'm so excited.

Nikan said...

I can send in my season ticket check now. :)

Anonymous said...

Great news. Best young forward I have seen in years.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tell, are you including Kolesar making the team in your assessment of 2 open spots at forward?

Anonymous said...

Now that they have Barzal, if they sign Gropp and also possibly Gambrell and have Kolesar and Bear coming in, thats 5 spots they will take up.... I can think of quite a few players id get rid of and bring these guys in haha... that wont be a problem!!!..
PS, Barzal and Theodore on the PP will be UNREAL

Kodi said...

What I'm most excited for is watching the competition at camp. Seeing players challenge each other for a roster spot will only make our team better.

Anonymous said...

Yes Kodi, kind of like the Seahawks have stated, compete, it will be a interesting camp. I hope Gropp and Gambrell follow Barzal.

Anonymous said...

Hoo Haaa!

Mr Tell13 said...

@ anon 4:36
I do include Kolesar. Here is what I wrote down: (again only my opinion and we have a long offseason to see what will happen)
Kolesar-Bazal- Lipsberg

Here ae the guys tht I left out:

so...I don't know that Wray is coming back. Hard worker but the depth of the team is not making his prospect of making the team really good. Sanvido and Elliot ae both 20s, so it might be very possible to see them back, but to play 4th line time? I don't think its worth it.
Now the name that sticks out is Troock. The guy is a geat talent but he is injury prone and I don;t know how he fits on this team anymore. Might as well use his upside to get something in return.

The team certainly has needs, but I think they are very specific. The goalie position is an obvious one.
I would not mind to see an efficient power foward type guy. A guy that can gave some thoughness, some hands, and hockey smart. Kolesar might be the futur guy to be that, but I would not put that responsability on a 16 y/o. Hickman could (or should) be that guy, but I think he is too streaky on the physical side of things and on the score sheet.

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