New York Islanders 3 Things to be Excited for in 2018-19
Mathew Barzal’s Sophomore Season
Mathew Barzal enters his second season in the NHL in 2018-19. After an 85 point in 82 game season, the New York Islanders rookie was rewarded with the Calder trophy. The anticipation for 2018-19 is sky high.
With John Tavares moving to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason, Mathew Barzal becomes the focal point for the Islanders attack. The eighth best offense from 2017-18 will now run primarily through Barzal.
And that’s perfectly fine. Unlike with most rookies, Barzal didn’t hit a wall last year. In fact, he just seemed to get better as the season went along.
Writer Travis Flynn from Lighthouse Hockey conducted a wonderful analysis of Mathew Barzal and his effectiveness against top-tier defensive opposition. As the season progressed, and Barzal’s minutes against top-tier opponents increased so did the rookie’s productivity.
With Barzal getting the bulk of the tough assignments this season for the Islanders, there’s absolutely no reason to think he can’t be as productive as he was in 2017-18.
He’ll get a ton of 5on5 minutes and he’ll get a lion’s share of the power play time as well. With all that ice-time the excitement becomes about how much Barzal can produce in year two in the NHL?
With the way he played last season, expecting him to hit a point-per-game is almost guaranteed. The hope is that he can hit well above that, think the 90-100 point plateau. Something John Tavares never did.
If Barzal can take a step forward in 2018-19 without John Tavares around everyone will have to take notice of the Islanders young superstar.