Islanders Still Search For Second Line Center: Eyes On Eichel

By Tim Stevenson
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Jack Eichel
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Jack Eichel /
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LANGLEY, BC – NOVEMBER 12: Mathew Barzal
LANGLEY, BC – NOVEMBER 12: Mathew Barzal /

Fortune C

Matt Barzal is young, and by all reports, he’s going to be awesome. He just captained his WHL team to its first league title capturing the WHL’s Ed Chynoweth cup with 25 points in 16 games. For his efforts, he was rewarded with the league’s Playoff MVP award.

However, he’s probably not ready for the second line center job the Islanders desperately need to be filled. Remember that whole playing the puck from the box thing? How about the single point in three games during the Memorial Cup tournament.

On the big stages, like the NHL, and in the Memorial Cup Barzal seems to wilt. Not a quality that’s required to have an effective second line center in the NHL.

Experience can help and ultimately make that disappear, but how much time do the Isles have to invest in that? If the Isles are going to keep Tavares on the Island they need to win now. Besides, it’s not like Eichel is an old man.

Let’s not forget those sweet, delicious first round picks, more precious than the one ring…we’ve got extra, let’s just go for it!

It doesn’t make sense to sit and wait, action favors the bold. Getting draft picks for Hamonic was a good play only if Garth intends to use them as trade bait for the acquisition of a second line center.

With two second round picks in 2018 anyways, Garth already has the assets he needs to move up into the first round should he ultimately choose to do so.