Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

New York Islanders rookie phenom Mathew Barzal made history with his season-ending performance on Saturday night.

With the season coming to an end, New York Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal looked over his shoulder — at the all-time record books — before etching his name into NHL history.

The 22-year-old phenom recorded two assists in the third period of Saturday night’s tilt with the Detroit Red Wings, the Islanders’ final game of the season. With those tallies, he will finish his debut campaign with 63 assists, tying Sidney Crosby for the most helpers by a rookie since Joe Juneau posted 70 in 1992-93.


He also tied the Islanders rookie record for the most assists in a season. “It’s pretty cool,” Barzal said in the postgame press conference. “I know some of the names, like (Bryan) Trottier and I’m obviously honored. When it comes to assists, I owe a lot to the other guys.”

With the Islanders down 3-1 in the third period, two skaters notched milestone goals. Anders Lee—”You can’t spell Islanders without A-N-D-E-R-S”—tallied his 40th of the season, while Ryan Pulock recorded his 10th.

Then, in what might have been his final game in orange and blue, captain John Tavares scored the game-winning goal in overtime, giving the Islanders the victory. Doug Weight’s team finishes the season with a 35-37-10 record, their first losing mark since the 2013-14 campaign.

Barzal finishes the 2017-18 season with 22 goals and 63 assists. He will have the opportunity to play with Connor McDavid for Team Canada at the World Championships in Denmark next month.

He’s on track to win the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s top first-year player. If he replicates this season’s performance, he’ll have plenty of more accolades in store.

“His game keeps getting better and he’s just scratching the surface,” Tavares told Newsday’s Andrew Gross.

“There’s a lot of excitement in our group for him. Especially a guy with his talent and his drive to be successful, I’m excited to finish the season with him and looking forward to the future.”

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