The NHL Free Agent Frenzy came and went for the New York Islanders. without a big move. With all respect to AHL goalie, Kristers Gudlevskis it was a quiet day for the Isles. The Islanders now turn to Barzal and Beauvillier.
It appears a big push was made by Snow but it wasn’t meant to be for either proven young center.
Turn to the Kids
There is no doubt regarding the talent level and makeup of Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Both youngsters are sure-fire, top-six forwards with a chance to become even better than that for years to come.
New York Islanders
Barzal had another exceptional season in the WHL last year with the Seattle Thunderbirds. New assistant coach Scott Gomez will be working with the former first-round pick (16th overall in 2015), so he hits the ground running next season.
Barzal has great vision, offensive skills, and makes everyone around him better. He is also a force on the power-play. Hello, that is a huge need for the blue and orange.
Beauvillier is a two-way player that can help the Isles in all sorts of ways. Former head coach Jack Capuano would call him a 200-foot player. After a solid rookie season as a teenager, expect Beauvillier’s offense to rise this season.
Then the Isles will have three other solid lines, to say the least. Do not get caught up who is the second-line center heading into opening night.
The Islanders will feature depth, as well as ability with their other forward lines with Barzal and Beauvillier centering two of them.
The Forward Vets
In addition, to the coaching staff, the Isles will need the forward veterans to help guide, nurture, and help both Barzal and Beauvillier. This includes Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera, Cal Clutterbuck, and Josh Bailey.
These veterans need to help the kids, as well as Brock Nelson. Whoever teams up with Nelson (Barzal?) need him to be consistent from start to finish next season. Doug Weight needs Nelson night in and night out.
Next year is a big year for Brock. A big year would mean a huge extension for him next off-season when he becomes a restricted free agent.
This off-season was a very good one for the Isles. However, it was not a Homerun (wrong sport, gotcha). But there is no reason why this team can’t have a big season next year.