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New York Islanders Mathew Barzal Headlines Untradable Players

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders in action during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders in action during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 20: Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders poses with the Calder Memorial Tropy given to the NHL’s top rookie in the press room at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Mathew Barzal

Mathew Barzal is the New York Islanders most important player now. He might not have a ‘C’ on his jersey, but the Islanders are Barzal’s team now.

In his first NHL season, he scored 85 points in 82 games winning the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year in the process. He’s the perfect personification of the new NHL. Fast, agile, creative.

He singled handly made people tune in to watch Islanders games. That, in and of itself is an incredible feat.

Can you trade him? No.

Sure, it’s entirely possible to get a player that’s better than Barzal in terms of pure production. There were 14 players that either bettered or equaled Barzal’s 82 point production in 2017-18.

But none of them are at the same points in their careers as Barzal. Barzal is entering year two of his NHL career. McDavid is the closest as he enters year four. The rest are in their mid-20s or their 30s.

Which means two things for the other plaeyrs above Barzal. They’ve peaked or are at their peak and they’re sitting on some pricey contracts.

Those 14 other players might keep producing at this level for a few more years or it’s all going to start coming down real soon. Again, except for McDavid. For Barzal, who’s at the start of his career it’s going to get better.

Unlike the other 14, this time including McDavid, Barzal is sitting on a sweet entry-level contract worth $863,333 a year (without bonuses). Barzal’s also years away from reaching unrestricted free agency. The team has him under control for years.

Barzal could easily be a top-five player in the NHL as soon as next season. You don’t trade a top-five player away. Because you won’t get one back coming the other way.

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