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Coquitlam's Barzal first overall at WHL Bantam draft

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Coquitlam's Mathew Barzal is set to tear it up with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The T-birds sunk their talons into the 15-year-old centre by grabbing him first overall in yesterday's Western Hockey League bantam draft.

"It's really excited going number one," a T-birds' press release quoted Barzal, who racked up 107 points, including 39 goals, in 35 games last season as a member of the Burnaby Winter Club Bantam 'A' team. "I am very proud to be selected by the T-birds. I am glad today happened how it happened."

T-birds general manager Russ Farwell said: "We are very excited to add Mathew Barzal to our team. [He] has true star potential and will be a very exciting player for our fans to watch develop. He has a style all his own and plays the game at a pace that is truly fun to watch.

"He has been a dominant player for a number of years and his package of skill and winning attitude will have a tremendous influence on our team from top to bottom."

Barzal becomes the highest WHL bantam pick of a Tri-Cities' product, surpassing Port Coquitlam's Zach Hamill, who was chosen third overall in 2003 by the Everett Silvertips and currently skates in the NHL Boston Bruins' organization.

 

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