Wed May 2

Leading up to the 2012 WHL Draft on May 3, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, the WHL will feature one-on-one interviews with top bantam age prospects.  This week we feature Mathew Barzal, a forward with the Burnaby Winter Club Bantamm 'AAA' team.

2012 WHL Draft Profile – Mathew Barzal, Burnaby Winter Club Bantam AAA, Forward, #97

What do you enjoy most about hockey?

I love competing against other kids, and I just love playing the game.

How would you describe yourself as a hockey player?

I like to think I’m pretty smart on the ice. I try to make players around me better, and just do what I can for my team.

What hockey player do you look up to the most?

I would probably have to say Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Him being from Burnaby, I’ve met him a few times, he seems like a really nice guy, and what he is doing right now is just unbelievable,  so I definitely look up to him.

What hockey player do you hope to play like one day?

I’d probably have to say Ryan Nugent-Hopkins again. He’s so talented, he’s smart on the ice, he makes other players around him better, he sets them up. So, if there is one player I could see myself as it would be him.

What are you goals in hockey?

This year, I would have to say winning the Western Canadians (Western Canada Bantam Championships, Spruce Grove, AB, April 5-8, 2012) doing everything for my team that I can. But long term, obviously to play in the NHL, and to do it not because of anything else, but because I love it.

What school are you currently attending? What is your favourite school subject?

Dr. Charles Best in Coquitlam. I’d have to say math.

What hobbies do you have outside of hockey?

I like to golf a lot in the summer, and I love to play ping pong as well. I play at the Vancouver Golf Club most of the time.

What is your nickname?

Probably Barzy, or Matty

What is your most cherished hockey memory?

I’d have to say winning the Western Canadians. You know, that was just such a big moment for everyone, and doing it the way we did it (OT victory vs. the Winnipeg Hawks, in Winnipeg, MB) with a bunch of guys that everybody liked, you couldn’t have asked for it any other way.

What do you think will be the next big hockey moment in your life?

Short term, I would like to hope to win the Western Canadians again this year. It’s another bunch of guys I really enjoy to play with. And long term, I’d have to say playing in the NHL would be one for sure.