3. Mathew Barzal
It's been a rejuvenating season for Mat Barzal, as he's been the player everyone expected after his rookie campaign when he was awarded the Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year. His shift from center to the wing has paid dividends, allowing him more freedom to operate without the responsibilities of a centerman.
With 12 goals and 33 assists through 40 games, Barzal is on pace to set career highs in both. During his Calder-winning season, he finished 22 goals and 63 assists - both his highwater marks to this point in his career.
Barzal's willingness to shoot the puck this season has been one of the main reasons for the team's success on the power play. Known as a distributor his entire career, he's been much more willing to pull the trigger from the left side of the diamond. Becoming more two-dimensional in his play has opened up opportunities for his teammates, resulting in a top-10 power play, converting on 25% of opportunities.
Barzal was named the Islanders' representative for the NHL All-Star Game in Toronto in three weeks - the third selection of his career.