New York Islanders Anthony Beauvillier Wants A Bigger Role in 2017-18
The New York Islanders have a number of rookies coming into the lineup in 2017-18. But in his second NHL season, Anthony Beauvillier wants just one thing: “A bigger role.”
The New York Islanders young forward had a good first season in the NHL in 2016-17. Surprisingly Beauvillier made the Islanders roster right out of training camp. He put up 24 points in 66 games as the Isles missed out on the playoffs for the first time in two seasons.
It was a good start, but not a great one. And Beauvillier can’t necessarily be entirely faulted for that. If he wasn’t playing a team low minutes on any given night he was scratched.
December 2016 was particularly frustrating as the Isles scratched Beauvillier for three-straight games and refused to lend him to Team Canada for the annual World Junior Championships. A tournament fellow Islanders draftee Mathew Barzal would dominate.
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Why keep him if they weren’t going to use him? It’s not like the New York Islanders didn’t have options for the then 19-year-old. They could loan him back to his QMJHL team, the Shawinigan Cataractes.
It was a frustrating season. But by the end of the season, he found himself playing alongside Josh Ho-Sang and Anders Lee. That resulted in a nice run of form where Beauvillier put up nine points in March and April.
What About 2017-18?
In an interview with LNH.com’s Guillaume Lepage, Beauvillier stated that he wanted to be an impact player for the Islanders. (Sorry, the interview is in French. Google translate does a good job translating though.)
"« Je veux que mon rôle change, a-t-il déclaré sans détour. Je veux être une pièce importante de cette équipe, je veux beaucoup de temps de glace et je veux être dans l’alignement chaque soir. Comme joueur de hockey, tu en veux toujours plus. »"
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It’s nice to see the kid have confidence in himself. And there’s no reason to believe that he won’t have increased ice-time next season. If there’s one thing the Islanders are short on its center. Beauvillier’s natural position.
The Islanders put him in that center role after Tavares missed the end of the 2016-17 season with a leg injury. And Beauvillier played well. He’s a valuable option for the Islanders in the middle.
Although we all think that the center depth chart for the Islanders is set. With Tavares up top, Barzal and Nelson interchangeable in the next two spots, and Casey Cizikas taking that fourth spot.
But who says that Beauvillier isn’t given that third line center role. And Brock Nelson is left to the wing? Which, if we’re being honest is the best position for Brock Nelson.
If a player isn’t going to back check like Brock is know to do, I’d rather it occur on the flank. Giving up the middle of the rink isn’t something winning teams do.
Next: Biggest Blunders In Tavares Era
If Beauvillier wants a bigger role he’s not just going to be given it. A strong training camp is still hurdle number one for him. Then Doug Weight can decide how best to use him on game-day.