WHL Announces February Award Winners

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THUNDERBIRDS’ BARZAL NAMED
WHL PLAYER OF THE MONTH

The Western Hockey League announced today that Seattle Thunderbirds forward Mathew Barzal has been named the WHL Player of the Month for February 2017.

Barzal, a 19-year-old product of Coquitlam, BC, registered 33 points (2G-31A) in 14 games to help the Seattle Thunderbirds go 10-3-0-1 during the month of February.

In February, the veteran pivot put forth 10 multipoint performances, including four contests with four points or more. On Wednesday, February 8, he posted four assists in a 5-4 win at Victoria, before exploding with a six-point effort (1G-5A) on Saturday, February 11, in an 8-5 win versus Portland. Barzal closed out the month with back-to-back four-point outings on Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26. In a 5-3 win versus Kelowna, he notched four assists, before collecting a goal and three assists the next day in a 6-1 win versus Everett. The crafty centreman was only held off the scoresheet on two occasions during the month of February.

Averaging 2.36 points per game and 2.21 assists per game during the month of February, Barzal earned first star honours three times and second star recognition three times.

The 6-foot, 187-pound centre is tied for first on the Thunderbirds in scoring, with 71 points (9G-62A) in 37 contests this season.

A first round pick (16th) of the New York Islanders at the 2015 NHL Draft, Barzal began the 2016-17 season with the Islanders, skating in two contests before returning to Seattle.

The shifty captain of the Thunderbirds represented Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, serving as an alternate captain and helping his nation to a silver-medal finish, tallying eight points (3G-5A) in seven games.

Originally taken by the Seattle Thunderbirds with the first overall pick at the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Barzal has logged 270 points (62G-208A) in 198 career WHL regular season contests.

SILVERTIPS’ HART NAMED
VAUGHN WHL GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH

The Western Hockey League announced today that Everett Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart has been named the Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month for February 2017.

Hart, an 18-year-old product of Sherwood Park, AB, chalked up a record of 8-2-0-0 during the month of February, with an outstanding 1.74 goals-against average, .942 save percentage, two shutouts and 262 saves.

The reigning CHL Goaltender of the Year logged shutouts in back-to-back starts at the beginning of the month, making 21 saves on Saturday, February 4, in a 1-0 win versus Vancouver before then stopping 31 pucks on Saturday, February 11, in a 2-0 win at Moose Jaw.

In 11 appearances during the month of February, Hart surrendered two goals or fewer in eight complete outings, earning first star honours four times, second star recognition twice and third star accolades twice.

While Hart was not recognized as WHL Goaltender of the Week at any point during the month of February, he is a three-time winner of the award this season (November 20, November 27, January 15) and was previously named Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month for November. To top it all off, the veteran netminder was named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 27.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound goaltender is among the WHL leaders is nearly every major goaltending category. His 1.96 GAA and eight shutouts are both good enough for first among all WHL goaltenders, while his .928 SV% ranks second. Hart’s 27 wins are tied for fifth in the WHL. Overall, he has earned a record of 27-8-6-1 in 45 appearances this season.

The steady puck-stopper represented Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, seeing action in seven games, going 3-1-0-0 with a 2.38 GAA and .906 SV% in helping his nation to a silver-medal finish.

Hart was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round (48th) of the 2016 NHL Draft and signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the club in October 2016.

Originally selected by the Everett Silvertips in the eighth round (158th) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Hart has suited up for 140 career WHL regular season games, going 80-37-9-8 with a 2.13 GAA, .920 SV% and 18 shutouts.

WHL Player of the Month
September/October: Sam Steel, Regina Pats
November: Adam Brooks, Regina Pats
December: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes
January: Matteo Gennaro, Calgary Hitmen
February: Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds

Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month
September/October: Logan Flodell, Saskatoon Blades
November: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips
December: Dylan Ferguson, Kamloops Blazers
January: Rylan Toth, Seattle Thunderbirds
February: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips

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