Seattle Thunderbirds center Mathew Barzal has gone as high as No. 6 overall in various NHL mock drafts, and he was ranked at No. 11 among North American prospect skaters by the league's Central Scouting department. BSH readers ranked him at No. 7 on our Community Draft Board.
The chance he's on the clock when the Philadelphia Flyers step to the microphone with the real No. 7 pick next Friday is pretty high, and the chance that he'd be a good, smart selection with that pick is also pretty high. When we profiled him a few weeks back, we noted that Barzal could -- in a few years -- be a nice fit on the Flyers roster as a No. 2 center behind Claude Giroux.
Surprisingly, #Flyers did not interview Fs Mathew Barzal, Timo Meier or Paul Bittner at draft combine, making it unlikely they will select.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) June 6, 2015
Barzal said he had 25 interviews during the Combine and the health of his knee was a frequent topic of conversation.
Now, OK. ... this doesn't necessarily mean that the Flyers will not draft Barzal or that they have no interest. It's possible that they've spoken to him before or since the combine, and that they just didn't have any need to speak with him at that event.
It's also of course possible that they really have no interest in him, or it's possible that he's low enough on their draft board that, with the No. 7 pick, they're guaranteed to have a different choice available to them. Maybe they feel they don't need another center with Giroux, Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton all in the organization already. Or maybe Barzal's knee issue, which kept him out for a good portion of this past season, has scared them away and they wouldn't be interested in him as high as No. 7.
Hard to know exactly what the deal is here -- it's draft season, nothing is certain -- but the Flyers not interviewing Barzal is interesting, if nothing else.