He Can Be Better
The Islanders also likely felt that Anthony Beauvillier has more to give than the 28 points he scored last season. The former first-round pick from 2015 might be able to perform at a higher level under the right circumstances.
It’s true that Beau had a bad season last year, and to be frank, 2017-18 wasn’t that much better for Beauvillier. If not for him being sent down to the AHL would he have been as productive as we saw after he was recalled to the NHL? Probably not.
Beauvillier seems to need some form of motivation to excel. The Islanders have tried the punitive approach before. Again, they sent him down to the AHL two seasons ago and last year they demoted him from the top line to the third line.
Both worked, for a time. After Beau was recalled from the AHL he went on to score at a 0.72 point per-game-pace for the rest of the season. That’s a 59 point pace over a full NHL season. After being demoted to the third line he went on a 0.75 point per-game-pace, that’s a 62 point pace over an 82 game season.
But he was never able to sustain that form. By 2018-19 he had totally lost that 0.72 point-per-game pace. And after 16 games following his demotion with a 0.75 point-per-game pace last season he again lost his touch.
The Islanders seem to believe that Beauvillier can be that player again, in the right circumstance by paying a bit more than he was probably worth right now.