NY Islanders: Top 3 Mathew Barzal moments of the 2022-23 season

Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders
Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders / Al Bello/GettyImages
1 of 4

A day after the now 26-year-old celebrated his birthday, we take a look back at Mathew Barzal's top 3 moments of the 2022-23 regular season. Before the year started, the New York Islanders signed Barzal to a new eight-year contract extension with the organization at $9.15M AAV per season, cementing him as the face of the franchise for seasons to come.

It was a difficult season to evaluate for Barzal. He started the year unable to find the net over the first quarter of the season before going on the best scoring streak of his career. He was also asked to center lines that were in constant flux as injuries mounted in December and January, playing with everyone from Josh Bailey and Oliver Wahlstrom to Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.

NHL New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal
NHL New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

He looked visibly frustrated at times and talked openly about how difficult it was to adapt on the fly and try to find chemistry with teammates when his line was constantly changing. However, everything shifted when GM Lou Lamoriello acquired Bo Horvat at the end of January. Though both were natural centers, there were to pair together to form a top line with Anders Lee. The early returns were good and natural chemistry appeared to be there between Bo and Barzy, but then Barzal's regular season would come to an end when he injured his knee on Feb. 18 in Boston.

As his injury status remained a mystery, the team altered their style of play, found their defensive structure and ended up as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Barzal returned for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes, trying to find his legs, his lungs and chemistry with Horvat and Lee. While the top line struggled as all lines did against the Canes, Barzal scored goals in Games 2 and 5 and there is optimism that a full-season with Horvat will lead to them learning how to best compliment each other and give the Islanders a stable top line next season.

With that, here are the 3 best moments of Mathew Barzal's 2022-23 regular season.