The New York Islanders top line is going to look a little different in 2018-2019, but how does it stack up against the rest of the league?
With John Tavares gone, the New York Islanders are going to have a different number one center for the first time in a long time. Mathew Barzal should fill that role just fine, it’s just going to be hard to get used to initially.
NHL.com released projected top lines for each team and ranked them. The Islanders came in with the 19th best top unit, and NHL.com used Lee – Barzal – Eberle for the top line.
In the middle, Barzal is coming off an 85 point rookie season. He exceeded any and all expectations in year one and should be able to fill in that role on the top line just fine as a 21-year-old forward.
On the left side, you have Anders Lee who had 40 goals last year. You could argue that Beau should be there but with Lee and his 74 goals over the last two years that seems like a fair choice.
Then there’s Jordan Eberle who continued to be his productive self and find a nice role alongside Mathew Barzal last year. Eberle finished the season with 25 goals and 59 points.
So how are they ranked so low? I understand, that there are many more talented lines that should be ahead of them, but the fact that they aren’t in the 11-15 range is kind of insulting. For instance, Anaheim comes in at 13.
Their top unit is listed as Rakell – Getzlaf – Perry. That unit combined for 179 points while the Islanders unit of Lee – Barzal – Eberle combined for 206. That’s a huge difference. Again, I’m not saying they need to be in the top-five, but a little more respect is deserved.
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