After an atrocious start to 2017, the New York Islanders must shift focus 2
Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Islanders 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The 19-year-old took his first steps in 2016-17 and looks to build off his rookie year with the New York Islanders as the club turns the corner.

The rookie center had a solid first season with the New York Islanders and looks to improve heading into the new season.

With the Islanders set to introduce some fresh faces next season Anthony Beauvillier will have a leg up on the competition with 66 NHL games under his belt. Beau scored nine goals and 24 points with the Islanders in his first year in the bigs.

Some were a little surprised to see Beau kept with the club after the Isles sent down Mathew Barzal who’s ahead of him in the depth chart. Beau seized the opportunity and played a complete game with the hiccups and bumps that come with the transition.

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Despite not showing up on the scoresheet most nights, Beau kept his nose to the grinder and continued to play a full game. The 19-year-old was continually praised by Head Coach Doug Weight for playing the game “the right way”. His presence was felt on the ice most nights, but has work to do when he doesn’t have the puck, a frequent issue when breaking into the NHL.

Beauvillier looks to take on an expanded role next season, likely to be paired up on the wing with newcomer Mathew Barzal considering Beau has experience playing outside of his center position and that most scouting reports indicate that Barzal excels at center.

2017-18

As of right now, if the assembled roster were to hit the ice next season expect Beau’s (likely third) line to look as such:

Anthony Beauvillier – Mathew Barzal – Ryan Strome/Josh Ho-Sang

There will likely be a few different slot-ins on the right side of the 2015 draft pair, but with the potential speed on that line my money’s on seeing Prince and Ho-Sang interchange the role of RW (probably even Ryan Strome

Depth scoring has been a consistent problem for the Isles in the past and it seems General Manager Garth Snow hopes to address the issue with an injection of youth (and perhaps a trade or two in the imminent future).

Either way, expect Beau to be back and ready to take the next step next season.

 NEXT: New York Islanders Decision Making Gets Tricky With Expansion Draft Deadline Nearing 


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Matt Di Giacomo

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Spent 3 1/2 years at West Chester University, now concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more.

Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @BR_SportsCast and check out his reviews on YouTube.