1. Bo Horvat
A consummate professional and leader both on and off the ice, Bo Horvat has been the most valuable player to the Islanders to this point.
There were mixed emotions from the fanbase when acquiring Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks, as many felt they'd given up too much for what is now their top-line center. Looking back less than a year later, with Anthony Beauvillier no longer with the Canucks and Aatu Raty buried in the minors, it appears Lou Lamoriello made the right decision in acquiring the former captain.
He sits third on the Islanders in scoring this season behind Barzal and Dobson, but Horvat has been a driving force behind the Islanders' first half of the season.
There's an argument that Horvat is one of the pivotal reasons for Barzal's success this season because of his play on both sides of the ice. Offensively, he gives Barzal a goal-scoring threat on his line that he'd never had before. The two built almost immediate chemistry from the moment they stepped on the ice together last season and have picked up from where they started this season after Barzal fully recovered from injury. On the defensive end, Horvat is as solid as they come as far as centers are concerned. He likely won't become a Selke Trophy recipient at any point in his career, but he allows players like Barzal to think with a more offensive mindset while he handles the dirty work on defense.
Operating at a point-per-game pace, it appears as if Horvat will obliterate his former career high of 61, set back in 2018-19 with the Canucks.
Horvat has helped change the team's dynamic since joining last February, and while he's not the highest-scoring player or leading in goals, he's been the most valuable Islander to this point.