Since initially returning to the New York Islanders from his AHL recall, Anthony Beauvillier has emerged offensively, scoring eight goals and nine points in just seven games back.
Anthony Beauvillier is proving that some time spent in the AHL can work wonders for a struggling forward.
Since his initial demotion and subsequent recall, Beauvillier has emerged a whole new player, yet not much has changed. The key to his sudden goal-scoring touch? A dash of confidence thanks to Brent Thompson and his Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Despite the 3-2 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Beauvillier picked up another two goals. Some will be quick to point right at the rookie sensation and Calder hopeful Mathew Barzal as the reason behind Beauvillier’s recent resurgence. With the season Barzal is having (he picked up his 50th point of the season in 49 games against the Yotes) the argument makes sense.
But Beauvillier’s play comes from something deeper than that — confidence.
As a rookie with only one season of NHL experience, it’s a tough adjustment, and the 2016-17 season was all about understanding the NHL for Beauvillier. With nine goals and 24 points in his first 66 NHL games, the Islanders and Beauvillier knew he had to take a bigger step this season.
Anthony Beauvillier: Seven goals in his last seven games, nine points in the last nine games #Isles
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) January 23, 2018
Starting the season with just four goals and seven points through 31 games, the Islanders made the decision to send the forward down to the AHL for some seasoning.
Historically speaking, AHL demotions have been hit or miss with the Islanders. In 2016-17, Jaroslav Halak was demoted to Bridgeport and his subsequent recall saw him guide the Islanders to six straight wins to end the season.
For Beauvillier, it was a clear hit. The forward spent only three games in the AHL, and even though it would have likely been for a bit more, injuries to regulars like Josh Bailey and Andrew Ladd forced the Isles to call the 2015 first-rounder back up to the bigs, and the kid potted a goal to boot.
With how well Beauvillier is playing, it’s in Doug Weight’s best interest to keep the second line of Beauvillier, Barzal and Jordan Eberle intact. Better yet, it lets the Isles play around with new line combinations once Ladd returns from injury and spread some scoring into their bottom-six, which is in need of a shot in the arm.
So credit Barzal, credit Bridgeport, but most importantly: credit Beauvillier. It’s clear from his recall that he doesn’t want to sniff a second more in the AHL. With his recent play, it doesn’t look like he’ll be seeing time there anytime soon.