New York Islanders Anthony Beauvillier Prefers To Play Center

By Matt O'Leary
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 08: Anthony Beauvillier
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 08: Anthony Beauvillier /

Anthony Beauvillier who played both center and wing for the New York Islanders last year said he’d prefer to play center.

Last year both Anthony Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal made the New York Islanders roster heading into the season. Both of them, natural centers, had to scratch and claw to get into the lineup and especially Beauvillier was playing out of position most of the time.

As it stands right now, assuming that Mathew Barzal makes the team, John Tavares, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Anthony Beavillier and Mathew Barzal are all natural centers. Not all of them will be playing their normal position.

Beauvillier said to Brian Compton that he will play where ever he is asked to play but he’d prefer to play center.

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It’d be hard for me to imagine Anthony Beauvillier getting much action at center unless there’s an injury. We’ve talked about it a lot but the second line center is a position of need for this team. Just because there’s an overabundance of a position doesn’t mean that you have depth.

If, and it’s a big if, the Islanders landed Matt Duchene that would just add another center to the mix. If that was the case you’d assume that both Beauviller and Brock Nelson would be asked to play wing.

If, and again it’s a big if, the Islanders had Duchene in the mix I’d go something like this:

Lee – Tavares – Eberle

Nelson – Duchene – Ho-Sang

Ladd – Barzal – Bailey

Beauviller – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Yes, that leaves Nikolai Kulemin and Jason Chimera as the odd guys out but that’s not the point of this exercise. The point is that look how many centers the Islanders could potentially have the chances of Beauvillier playing center is very slim, especially if there’s another top-six forward added to the mix.

Next: Islanders Should Avoid Nick Bonino

Regardless, of whether it’s wing or center I expect Beau to take another step. He put up 24 points last year in a limited role he should absolutely find a way to eclipse the 30 point mark. This isn’t a bad problem for the Islanders to have.