Monday, May 15, 2017

NHL news: Barzal named WHL playoff MVP as Thunderbirds win title

New York Islanders prospect and Seattle Thunderbirds center Mathew Barzal has been named MVP of the WHL playoffs. Barzal scored 25 points (7 goals and 18 assists) in 16 playoff games.

        Barzal, 19, was drafted 16th overall (first round) in the 2015 NHL draft by the Islanders, after the pick was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers for Griffin Reinhart. He played two games for the Islanders this season, scoring no points.

         Barzal played in 41 regular season games for the Thunderbirds this year, scoring an amazing 79 points (10 goals and 69 assists). In his WHL career, he has 278 points (63 goals and 215 assists) in 202 games over 4 seasons for Seattle. He's expected to make the Islanders in 2017-18.

        After a 4-3 win in game 6 over the Regina Pats, the Thunderbirds won the WHL title, their first WHL title in the franchise's 40 year history.

        The Thunderbirds will be one of the four teams in the Memorial Cup tournament. The winner is the best team out of the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. The three other teams are the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, and the OHL's Erie Otters and Windsor Spitfires.

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