Mathew Barzal
Mathew Barzal
21-Year-Old CenterC
New York Islanders
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After becoming the first rookie since Evgeni Malkin to play at least 75 games and average more than a point per contest, the sky appears to be the limit for the Calder Trophy winner. Barzal scored 22 goals and 85 points while playing in 82 games last season. However, it remains to be seen how the 21-year-old will handle the opposition's top defensive pairing on a nightly basis, as Barzal is projected to center the top line following John Tavares' departure. Keep an eye on who joins him. Barzal and Jordan Eberle made up a strong second line last season, and if Eberle joins Barzal with Anders Lee on the top line, the prized pivot at least figures to be consistent. All told, Barzal is now the best fantasy option from the Islanders and a rock-solid No. 2 in standard leagues. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Islanders in September 2015.
Lacking standout performances
CNew York Islanders
February 7, 2019
Barzal potted New York's lone goal in Thursday's 2-1 shootout win over the Devils.
The fleet-footed center's first-period tally was his 16th of the season. While Barzal remains as fast as ever on his skates, his production has slowed down of late -- he's failed to produce a multi-point performance over his past 11 games after preceding this stretch with four multi-point outings in a seven-game span.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The Isles drafted Barzal No. 16 overall in 2015 and gave him a two-game taste of the NHL this past season, though the B.C. native spent most of 2016-17 playing for Seattle of the WHL, where he averaged nearly two points per game despite managing only 10 regular-season goals. Barzal proceeded to dominate in the playoffs, racking up seven goals and 18 assists over 16 games en route to the WHL Championship. That performance is promising as the 20-year-old pivot looks to secure a regular role with the Islanders this season, but the NHL club is chock-full of centers and has a lot of players competing for roles on the wings as well. With the Isles’ youth movement in full swing, Barzal will be among a number of youngsters looking to establish themselves at hockey’s highest level, so training camp will be an important bellwether for him.
Barzal is one of if not the top rookie in the Islanders organization. He came close to breaking camp with the team last season and should have an even better chance to do so this October. He would likely start off as the Islanders third-line center but his future is certainly that of a top six forward. He will be unlikely to center the top line with the Isles as that job belongs to John Tavares but a switch to wing would also not be out of the equation if the Isles continue to be unable to find adequate skilled forwards to play on a line with Tavares. Barzal possesses all of the necessary skills (vision, speed, instincts) to be a player to be reckoned with for years to come. The only negative part of his game would be his size as he is on the small side but in today's NHL that is not necessarily a death sentence. This is a player to watch in keeper and dynasty leagues.
All you need to know about how the Islanders feel about Barzal is that they traded away prized defensive prospect Griffin Reinhart to get the chance to draft him. He's a skilled pivot with great vision, strong wheels, and fantastic offensive instincts. Barzal should be a top-six playmaker in the NHL, but it'll take a few years and about 20 pounds of muscle to get there. The Islanders are stockpiling offensive talent at both the NHL and minor-league level, so it may not be as easy for Barzal to make the team as it was just a year or two ago. Expect him to return to his junior team in the WHL this season.
More Fantasy News
Scores in shootout loss
CNew York Islanders
January 23, 2019
Barzal scored his 14th goal of the season in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks.
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Bags apple Friday
CNew York Islanders
January 18, 2019
Barzal recorded an assist and logged 16:03 of ice time during Friday's 2-0 win over the Capitals.
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Delivers in rivalry game
CNew York Islanders
January 10, 2019
Barzal recorded a goal and two power-play assists in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Rangers.
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Scoring spree continues
CNew York Islanders
January 3, 2019
Barzal scored both of his team's regulation goals -- one on the power play -- in Thursday's 3-2 overtime win over the Blackhawks. He added eight shots on goal in 20:16 of ice time.
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Collects assist
CNew York Islanders
December 31, 2018
Barzal dished out an assist in Monday's 3-1 win against the Islanders.
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