Burnaby Winter Club product named co-hockey player of the year
For Glacier Media Group
June 5, 2012
Hockey Now announced today that Burnaby Winter Club bantam Mathew Barzal and Jansen Harkins from the North Shore Winter Club are the co-winners of the 2012 Hockey Now Minor Hockey Player of the Year award. The honour is handed out annually to a B.C. minor hockey player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, hockey ability and performance as well as school and community participation. A committee established by Hockey Now reviews applications and selects the winner.
Barzal, 15, was the first overall selection of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2012 Western Hockey League bantam draft.
The 5-10, 160-pound centre from Coquitlam scored 55 goals and posted 153 points in 51 games, this season.
Barzal captained the winter club bantam AAA team to a dominant season, highlighted by a Western Canadian bantam championship - his second in two years. The winter club team also captured two high-profile bantam tournament titles in Medicine Hat and at the L.A. Selects.
Individually, Barzal shined seemingly everywhere he went, earlning top forward at the Westerns, MVP at L.A. Selects, Game MVP in the final of Medicine Hat, where he scored the game-winning goal, and first all-star at the prestigious St. Albert tournament. At the 2011 Western bantams, Barzal tied winter club alum Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' record of 14 points as a first-year bantam.
Off the ice, Mathew is enrolled in French Immersion at Dr. Charles Best Secondary and has a strong Grade 9 report card, including a 94 per cent final grade in math. Barzal is also fluent in French and often tutors younger students. He works as a minor hockey referee. Up next for Barzal is the NHLPA's All-Canadians mentorship camp in Toronto from July 17 to 21. Next season, Barzal will play in the B.C. Major Midget League.
Harkins, whose father Todd played in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, and Calgary Flames, was the second overall selection of the Prince George Cougars in this year's WHL bantam draft.
The 15-year-old North Vancouver native scored 83 goals and 153 points in 74 games this year. Harkins captained the NSWC bantam AAA team to the finals of three elite-level tournaments - a tournament title in Chilliwack and to second place in Kamloops and St. Albert.
Individually, the 5-11, 150-lbs. centre was named MVP in Medicine Hat and top scorer in Kamloops.
In school, Harkins scored an excellent Grade 9 report card from Seycove Secondary with A's in math, science, and social studies.
Jansen and his family are heavily involved in raising funds and awareness for MPS, a rare genetic disorder that Jansen's older brother was diagnosed with. Since 2003, the family's MPS Cup fantasy hockey game & gala has raised $800,000 for the Canadian MPS Society.
This summer, Harkins will join his long-time friend Barzal at the NHLPA mentorship camp - the two met in novice when their team won the renowned Brick super novice tournament.
Next season, Harkins will play Major Midget with the Vancouver NW Giants.
Barzal and Harkins will formally receive their award at the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction celebration at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton on July 27. The Hall of Fame induction class of 2012 includes Scott Niedermayer, Rod Brind'Amour, Scott Carter, Bob Hindmarch, and Jim Hughson.
The Hockey Now minor hockey player of the year award was established in 2000 when it was won by Colin Fraser, currently playing for the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup final.
Below is a full list of past winners:
2011 - Joseph Hicketts, Okanagan Hockey Academy Midget Prep
2010 - Curtis Lazar, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL
2009 - Griffin Reinhart*, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL
2009 - Morgan Rielly*, Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL
2008 - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers, NHL
2007 - Kevin Sundher, Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL
2006 - Stefan Elliot, Colorado Avalanche, NHL (and AHL affiliate)
2005 - Geordie Wudrick, U. of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, CIS
2004 - Dustin Sylvester, Abbotsford Heat, AHL
2003 - Karl Alzner, Washington Capitals, NHL
2002 - Gilbert Brule*, Phoenix Coyotes, NHL
2002 - Brock Bradford*, Charlotte Checkers, ECHL (2009/10)
2001 - Tyler Burton, Bossier-Sreveport Mudbugs, CHL (2010/11)
2000 - Colin Fraser, Los Angeles Kings, NHL
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