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Seattle Thunderbirds pick Mathew Barzal first overall in WHL draft @NHLdotcom

The Seattle Thunderbirds chose forward Mathew Barzal first overall in the Western Hockey League's bantam draft Thursday.

Barzal, from Coquitlam, B.C., had 39 goals and 68 assists in 35 regular-season games for the Burnaby Winter Club. He added another 16 goals and 30 assists in 17 playoff games en route to a Western Canadian bantam championship.

The order of selection in the first round was determined through a weighted lottery between the six non-playoff teams. The draft order was based in the inverse overall standings from the regular season.

The Thunderbirds finished third-last in the WHL with a 25-45-2 record.

Players eligible for this year's bantam draft were born in 1997.

The WHL's territory includes Canada's four western provinces, Yukon and Northwest Territories and the U.S. states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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