Anthony Beauvillier was considered by many to be the New York Islanders’ sixth best prospect when Garth Snow picked him in the first-round of the 2015 NHL Draft. With his recent play, it seems like he could rank ahead of nearly all of them.
While Michael Dal Colle, Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield have been eagerly waiting on the steps of the National Hockey League for a couple of years, first-round pick Anthony Beauvillier has been tearing up the QMJHL through the first few weeks of the season.
Beauvillier, 18, was selected with the twenty-eighth pick in the first round of the 2015 Draft. New York traded defenseman Griffin Reinhart to Edmonton for the fifteenth and thirty-third picks, which they then used to select Mathew Barzal and eventually, after another trade, the 5’11” Beauvillier.
The selections of both Barzal and Beauvillier are making Islanders GM Garth Snow look like a genius, as Reinhart has been struggling with the Oilers, and the pair of first rounders have been putting up huge numbers in their respective leagues.
Beauvillier, a Sorel, Parti Québécois native, has been especially intriguing, as he is once again lighting up a league that he has dominated for three consecutive seasons.
But more conspicuous than his play in a league typically regarded as one of the least accurate in gauging the impact of players at the NHL level is his play at Islanders training camp, where he was lauded by everyone from coaches to scouts to members of the media.
A natural leader, Beauvillier boasts a useful combination of both skating ability and playmaking prowess. He is generally described as being quick, competitive and skilled, and his shoot-first mentality and impressive tenacity further solidifies the claim that he will be a star for years to come.
“I just play my game, working hard off the ice and on the ice,” Beauvillier said about the accolades he was the beneficiary last season. “There’s a group of guys on the team that follow me, and I respect everyone on our team.”
Leadership — that’s a quality of his that would immediately be a positive characteristic in the locker room. On the ice, his shoot-first mentality and impressive poise would help in big-game situations, just like it did in October, when he was named the QMJHL’s seconds star of the month.
Sure, it makes sense that any team would want to wait for prospects like Beauvillier to fully develop before calling them up. However, with the Isles losing games at a concerning rate and the locker room in need of a change in scenery, it would only make sense for Garth Snow to at least consider calling Beauvillier up to the NHL.
“He’s got tremendous hockey sense, he’s got good intelligence of the game and a lot of skill to go along with it,” Isles head coach Jack Capuano said. “When you add that together and add that with grit and determination that’s a great combination to have.”
“He’s got a bright future in this league.”
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