The New York Islanders selected Matthew Barzal in the first round, 16th overall, of the 2015 National Hockey League Draft at BB&T Center. They’d acquired the 16th selection, along with the 33rd overall selection, from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal, 18, scored 57 points (12 goals, 45 assists) in 44 games last season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. A 5'11, 175-pound forward, Barzal added eight points (four goals, four assists) in six WHL Playoff games.
On the international stage, Barzal won gold with Team Canada at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and won bronze with Canada at the 2014 and 2015 World Under-18 Championships. He was named a Top-3 Player on Team Canada at the 2015 Under-18 World Junior Championships.
A native of Coquitlan, BC, Barzal scored 54 points (14 goals, 40 assists) in 59 games as a rookie with Seattle in 2013-14 and added six points (one goal, five assists) in nine playoff games. Prior to his junior career, Barzal was named the British Columbia Hockey Player Of The Year in 2012-13, leading the British Columbia Major Midget League in scoring with 103 points (29 goals, 74 assists) in 34 games for the Vancouver North East Chiefs.
Reinhart, 21, recorded one assist in eight games with the Islanders last season. Selected in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Reinhart scored 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 59 American Hockey League games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last season as a rookie.