New York Islanders Mathew Barzal Potential Outcomes For 2017-18

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Mathew Barzal
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Mathew Barzal /
5 of 5
LANGLEY, BC – NOVEMBER 12: Mathew Barzal
LANGLEY, BC – NOVEMBER 12: Mathew Barzal /

Play In The AHL

The only other option for Barzal is to play in the AHL. Of course, that’s assuming he doesn’t make the Islanders active roster right out of training camp like he did just last season.

It’s possible. The competition is pretty steep for spots. Looking at Cap Friendly’s Islanders roster, the Isles already have 20 spots taken.

And that doesn’t include players like Joshua Ho-Sang, Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews, Adam Pelech, or Barzal. That’s five names for three spots. And I didn’t even include Michael Dal Colle in that list. A player who, arguably, has the potential to make the team.

Playing the AHL would at least serve Barzal as a natural stepping stone to his NHL career. He’s clearly too good for the WHL. In 41 games last season he put up 79 points. He added another 25 in 16 playoff games.

Playing with men in the AHL would be a great introduction for a player who clearly needs to get his nerves in check. Dominating at the AHL level, as we all expect he’d do. Would give Barzal an incredible boost of confidence before finally being brought into the NHL fold.

The only issue with that is what do the Isles do with that hole in the roster at the second line center position? Barzal should be the right fit, assuming he’s ready. Playing in the AHL doesn’t help the Isles much right now.

Next: Isles Should Offer Sheet Ryan Johansen

We all wait with anticipation as to what the New York Islanders are going to do with Mathew Barzal in 2017-18. Personally, I hope the Isles keep him, but play him in a third line position. It’s sheltered, he can learn and still have a great offensive impact for the team.