Editorials

New York Islanders Need Anthony Beauvillier To Have A Breakout Season

By Matt O'Leary
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - APRIL 12: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders celebrates his second period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on April 12, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - APRIL 12: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders celebrates his second period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on April 12, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders have a missing link in their top-six, if Anthony Beauvillier finally figures it out they might be able to mask that issue.

Anthony Beauvillier is headed into his fourth season in the NHL with the New York Islanders and we still have no idea clue what he is at this level. His first season saw him get bounced around from center, to wing, and to the press box.

He ended up with 24 points in 66 games, a pace of 30 points over a full 82 game season which is pretty solid for a 19-year-old who was only playing 13 minutes a night. 2017-2018 was even weirder though.

To say Anthony Beauvillier started slowly would be an understatement, in 31 games he had just seven points. That’s an 82 game pace of just 19 points. Beau got sent down to the minors, handled it well, and then caught absolute fire in his final 40 games.

In the 40 games remaining in the season, Beau had 29 points. That’s a pace of 59 points over a full season. That’s nearly half a season at a 60 point pace too, that’s not a small sample size.

Expectations were high for Beauvillier this past year and he really flopped. In 81 games he had just 28 points (18 goals, 10 assists). He played a lot with Mat Barzal and then Val Filppula and Leo Komarov (which seemed to work better).

His best game was a four-point night against the Rangers (while playing on the third line), but after that game, he went right back to being a nonfactor for the Islanders. Still, Beau is only 22 years old and thinking he’s only a 30 point player might be a bit nieve.

As things stand right now, the Islanders have five guys who are locks for their top-six; Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, and Brock Nelson. After that, it’s a huge question mark.

The Islanders top-six prayers could be answered if Anthony Beauvillier recreates that magic with Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle from 2017-2018.

Thanks to the help of Natural Stat Trick I’m going to take a look at how Anthony Beauvillier has been over the past two years with Barzal and Eberle vs how he was without them.

When the trio of Beauvillier – Barzal – Eberle is together the Islanders have a 51.95 corsi for percentage, a 51.82 expected goals for percentage and a high danger chances for percentage of 54.90.

That shows that when the line is playing together, they are usually pretty good at creating offense. When Anthony Beauvillier is playing without those two is when you see a significant dropoff.

With anyone else, Beau’s corsi for percentage is 47.15, his expected goals for percentage is 47.21, and his high danger chances for percentage drops to 47.21 as well. Beau is clearly more effective when he is with those two.

Surprisingly, that trio was only together for 83 minutes of ice time last season. Perhaps, if Barry Trotz bets on a 22 year old Beauvillier figuring it out, they can recreate the same magic that they’ve had.

Anders Lee might be a better fit with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey anyway due to his pace of play. Maybe something like this could work:

Beauvllier – Barzal – Eberle

Lee – Nelson – Bailey

Dal Colle – Brassard – Ho-Sang

Martin – Cizikas – Komarov

I’d be willing to give that lineup a shot. Especially when Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd are nursing injuries. But this is all under the impression that Anthony Beauvillier can play with Barzal and Eberle.

Next. Barzal on the penalty kill?

If he puts up 30 points again this is an issue, and the Isles would have to find someone else to fill that role. But if he is able to give you 20-25 goals and 45 points+ you should be able to get away with it.

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