The New York Islanders were only one-point out of a playoff spot last season and even though after Doug Weight became the coach in the middle of the season, they played inspiring hockey it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. With John Tavares on a contract season, the Islanders are hoping for someone to break out and make a deep playoff run and it seems one of the best candidates to do so in 2017-2018 is Matt Barzal.
He only appeared in two games for the Islanders last season before being sent back to juniors (Seattle Thunderbirds WHL). In 41 regular season games, he scored 10 goals and had 69 assists not to mention, his plus/minus was a 32, an outstanding mark. In 16 postseason games, he scored seven goals and had 18 assists and was one of the main reasons why Seattle won the WHL championship last season against the Regina Pats in six games.
Drafted No. 16 overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, Barzal is an outstanding passer at center. The Islanders have solid youth movement right now within the organization with Josh Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauviller providing young talent that gives the team energy and they’re hoping Barzal can do the same as either be the second or third line centerman. A line-up of Beauviller-Barzal-Ho-Sang could be incredibly potent.