The Hockey Now has made its choice.
Evidently, so too has Coquitlam wunderkind Mathew Barzal.
Barzal was named a cowinner of the Minor Hockey Player of the Year Award alongside Jansen Harkins Tuesday, a distinction based on "sportsmanship, leadership, hockey ability and performance, and school and community participation," according to the provincial hockey publication.
"To know that they see me as one of the best players in B.C, not only on the ice but off the ice, alongside Jansen Harkins was really exciting. It's a great award," Barzal told The NOW Wednesday.
Having just turned 15 last week, Barzal put up 55 goals and 153 points in 51 games last season with the Burnaby Winter Club, a team that won its second straight Western Canadian Bantam Championship with Barzal at the helm. He was also taken first overall in last month's Western Hockey League bantam draft by the Seattle Thunderbirds.
With that said, it doesn't appear as though the Dr. Charles Best product will be headed state-side next season.
In fact, it seems as though he'll be staying right where he is.
"As of today, I would say I'm going to the B.C. Major Midget League," he said. "We still have some time to think some things through, but from what me and my mom and dad have talked about, I guess that's what we're looking at right now."
Because of his Coquitlambased address, there's a good chance that Barzal's decision would be a coup for Doneau Menard and his Vancouver Northeast Chiefs.
"Personally, I think that our league provides the best opportunity for him. He stays at home, he stays at his school and he's staying with friends that he's familiar with," Menard said. "His vision on the ice is outstanding, but the biggest thing about him is how competitive he is. He just makes everyone else better."
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