New York Islanders 2017-18 Season: Prospects Hoping To Make Roster
Selected 16th overall in the 2015 NHL draft, Mathew Barzal wasn’t supposed to come to the New York Islanders. In fact, he should have been an Edmonton Oiler (assuming they take him at 16).
The Islanders acquired him by sending Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for Pittsburgh’s pick and the 33rd overall pick that year. Reinhart, the former fifth overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft by the Isles is now plying his trade with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Barzal hit a bit of a set back in 2016-17, he was sent back to the WHL after initially making the roster out of camp. He’s since come out and said he felt “star struck”.
Must Read: What Do The Isles Do With Barzal in 2017-18?
Back in the WHL Barzal just picked up where he left off: dominating. In the 2015-16 season, Barzal put up 88 points in 57 games and added another 26 in 18 playoff games. Last season it was 79 points in 41 games and 25 in 16 playoff games.
For those doing the math at home, that’s a 1.54 points-per-game pace in 2015-16 and 1.93 points-per-game in 2016-17.
Barzal also added the WHL’s playoff MVP trophy as he led his Seattle Thunderbirds to the memorial cup tournament after winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
If there’s one glaring hole in the New York Islanders roster, it’s a second line center. Mathew Barzal fits that need perfectly. He made the team in 2016-17 he should make the team in 2017-18 and slide right into the mix under John Tavares in the teams center depth chart.