Mathew Barzal – Hart Trophy
If the New York Islanders have any hope of making the playoffs they’re going to need a big season out of Mathew Barzal. Like Taylor Hall big. With John Tavares gone, there just isn’t anyone else in the lineup that can have the same type of production.
Sure, Anders Lee is one of the top five goal scorers in the league over the last two years. But putting up a bunch of helpers isn’t what you expect from Anders Lee. On the flip side, the Islanders are filled with a ton of playmakers that don’t put up a ton of goals.
With 37 goals and 47 assists, John Tavares was able to contribute on both sides of the coin. There isn’t anyone else on the team aside from Barzal who can do that now. Barzal is going to get a ton of great secondary scoring, but the Isles won’t have that same one-two punch from last year.
To get into the postseason they’ll need Barzal to have an even more explosive sophomore season in 2018-19. A 90-100 point season just like Taylor Hall had in 2017-18 isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Mathew Barzal.
If he can achieve that type of offensive season, the Islanders will not only be looking at a potential return to playoff hockey, but Barzal might be adding to his trophy cabinet real soon.