By Andrew Eide
Perhaps the most intriguing story surrounding this year's Thunderbirds squad was whether or not 2012 first round draft pick Matthew Barzal would sign with the club. The topic certainly has been popular among WHL circles and fan pages. It appears, based on comments made by general manager Russ Farwell in a radio interview Saturday night, that the wait may soon be over.
Between periods of Saturday night's 2-1 win in Kelowna, Farwell was a guest of Rockets play by play man Regan Bartel and the two discussed the prospect. There has been a great deal of internet speculation regarding Barzal and Farwell confirmed some things.
Farwell confirmed that Barzal did practice with the T-Birds a couple of weeks ago and indicated that he thought Barzal would be attending the playoff games at the ShoWare Center this week. He also indicated that Barzal has not told the club that he does not want to play for them and finished the interview saying that both sides agreed that a decision should come before the summer's off-season.
Barzal was the number one pick overall in the Bantam draft and recently completed his midget season playing for the Vancouver North East Chiefs of the B.C. Major Midget League. He led the league in scoring with 29 goals, 74 assists for 103 points in only 34 games. Barzal attended training camp with Seattle this past fall and was very impressive and many observers felt he could have scored in the WHL at 15.
If you're into reading tea leaves these comments have to be seen as a positive sign but until Barzal actually signs anything is still possible.
We have reached out to the team for more information, if any, and will update as soon as possible.
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