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11-20-2012, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by UsernameWasTaken View Post
any update on whether he's agreed to go to seattle...and if not any thoughts on whether he will agree?

if anyone thinks he won't report - do you know where he wants to go?
Here's the latest I've found:
F Mathew Barzal, the first selection in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft, says he has yet to make up his mind whether he will sign with the Seattle Thunderbirds or take the NCAA route.
"The WHL is a great league and that's where I hope to play," Barzal, who is from Coquitlam, B.C., told Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald during the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup. "But right now, I'm still talking with my family and my agent about my decision.
"I know what I want to do and I think the WHL is the best route. But I want to look at every avenue possible."
Barzal is the captain of Team BC at the Challenge Cup.
He plays for the major midget Vancouver-North East Chiefs for whom he has 30 points, including 10 goals, in 11 games.
(We will assume that someone will tell Barzal that he doesn’t have an agent, but he does have a family advisor. Wink! Wink!!)

Sounds to me as if wants to play in the WHL but not for the Seattle organization, and I don't really blame him.
I prefer that top Canadian kids take the CHL route in almost every case, but if his rights aren't traded to a respectable organization, heading to the NCAA is smart.

I think college hockey is a very legitimate possibility with him, unlike some other kids that use it to manipulate their draft position.
He reportedly does very well in school and when you listen to him speak, read quotes from him, or even look at his Twitter, it's safe to assume those reports are correct.
If he does choose the NCAA route, I wouldn't be surprised to see him try to accelerate his schooling so that he can play as a 17 year old freshman during his draft year.
It's rare (off the top of my head, I can only think of Jonathan Toews and Dillon Simpson, but Zemgus Girgensons also tried and failed because he had the added hassle of completing his Latvian schoolwork too), but it'd help his draft stock and he certainly looks to have the talent required to do so.
As for where he'd go, I'm sure every top program is salivating at the thought of getting him (with the exception of the Gophers, of course).

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