As a 19 year-old Anthony Beauvillier took on the world in his first NHL season. It was never easy, but the New York Islanders prospect made the most of ups and downs to show he belongs in the NHL.
Going into the preseason, not many experts expected Anthony Beauvillier to be with the New York Islanders at all in 2016-2017, none the less the whole entire season. It was the first time the Isles kept a 19 year-old on their roster for a whole season since 2011.
Matthew Barzal was the man coming into camp. It seemed all but sure he would be the first of the young crop to get a shot at playing with the big boys, but Beauvillier had a different idea. He out played Barzal during camp and earned a spot with the Isles.
Beauvillier’s first NHL goal game came late in October at the Barclays Center against the defending Western Conference champion Sharks.
New York Islanders
His first NHL season was anything but easy. Under head coach Jack Capuano, Beauvillier spent a lot of time in the press box. The Isles couldn’t send him anywhere else, and Capuano seemed to lack faith in the kid. It was clear from the start that Beauvillier had immense talent, but also clear he was a rookie at its finest.
In 66 games, Beauvillier had nine goals, and 15 assists. He was a versatile player for the Islanders all year long. The coaches moved him from line to line on a nightly basis and on top of that he never had a set position, moving from center to a wing without hesitation. For the most part, Beauvillier was treated poorly and he never said a word about it. He put his head down and did what he could to help the team.
For the most part, Beauvillier was treated poorly and he never said a word about it. He put his head down and did what he could to help the team.
Beauvillier’s feel good moment of the year came in his return to his hometown of Montreal to play against the Canadians. With family and friends in attendance, Beauvillier scored the game’s first goal early in the first period. MSG Networks cut to Beau’s emotional dad in the crowd. It seemed like a feel-good hockey moment destined to happen.
Beauvillier played more and gained confidence under Doug Weight. He experienced a great learning curve and had as much experience as any rookie can ask for. As seen with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Isles will have to have more trust in their young guns if they want to be successful. I look for Beauvillier to have a larger role with the Isles next season and join the next crop of talented forwards in the NHL.