Last year provided a whirlwind of action for New York Islanders rookie Anthony Beauvillier. He experienced the full roller coaster ride of being an NHL player and he will only improve from here.
A year ago, Beauvillier shockingly made the team out of camp. It was not only a surprise that he made the team, but the New York Islanders chose to keep him around for the whole season over prospect Matthew Barzal.
Under head coach Jack Capuano, Beauvllier saw more than his fair share of time in the press box. He showed flashes of brilliance but also had the ups and downs of being a rookie.
When Doug Weight took over, he let Beauvllier loose. He saw game action almost every night and that experience is going to be more than valuable for 2017-2018.
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Beauvillier is going to be the most experienced member of the new class of Islanders. He knows the speed of the game which showed be true during the second half the season.
The 19-year-old had nine goals and 24 points in 66 games. Those are fine numbers for a teenager getting a fresh look at professional hockey, but those numbers have to take the next step. Beauvillier will likely be in the lineup for most of the year and I would love to see him score 15-20 goals.
What a boost that would be to the club if he could contribute on the third line. I certainly think he has it in him. He’s got the moves and speed, but it’s the size and consistency that makes me hesitant to think he can get the job done. He needs to be more of an influence without the puck. Make plays happen without being the center of attention.
It’s likely Beauvillier will be paired with Barzal and maybe Josh Ho-Sang. A perfect role for him. Let these young guns, that Weight praises so much, grow together and become the next faces of this franchise.
At the end of the day I have Beauvillier down for 17 goals and 25 assists. You take that all day from a 20-year-old on a third line. He will still get bullied around due to his lack of size but he’s still so young and we have to remember that.
John Tavares and now Jordan Eberle are without a doubt the head of offense but the keys are being passed down to the young guys. A lot more responsibility is going to be pushed on the rookies and I’m more than interested to see how they will take it. Beauvillier is no different.