Isles’ top pick Barzal tosses first pitch before no-hitter
New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal didn't expect to be a part of history when he visited Safeco Field on Wednesday.
The 16th overall pick of the 2015 draft, Barzal joined members of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League prior to the Seattle Mariners' home game against the Baltimore Orioles. The 18-year-old center from Coquitlam, British Columbia, took the stage to himself prior to the contest and fired a fastball to Mariners first baseman Jesus Montero for the ceremonial first pitch.
While Barzal's offering was impressive, he was outdone by Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma. The 34-year-old Japanese right-hander recorded his first career no-hitter and struck out seven in the 3-0 triumph over Baltimore.
Diamond dreams aside, Barzal is expected to return to the Thunderbirds, with whom he collected 12 goals, 45 assists and 20 penalty minutes in 44 games last season. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder scored four goals and set up four others, but Seattle fell to Portland in the first round of the playoffs.
(h/t New York Islanders)