Mathew Barzal
Mathew Barzal
22-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.
Nets power-play goal
CNew York Islanders
May 3, 2019
Barzal scored a power-play goal on four shots and added two hits in Friday's 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 4.
Barzal accounted for two of the Islanders' five goals as they were swept out of the playoffs in the second round. He produced five helpers in four games in the first round. The center had 62 points in 82 regular-season games, and should continue to be one of the Islanders' offensive leaders in 2019-20.
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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
Finally lights lamp
CNew York Islanders
April 28, 2019
Barzal scored a power-play goal during Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 2.
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Makes impact in Game 2 win
CNew York Islanders
April 12, 2019
Barzal notched two assists in Friday's 3-1 win over the Penguins in Game 2 of their first-round series.
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Two points just enough in win
CNew York Islanders
March 29, 2019
Barzal scored and also set up a goal in Thursday's 5-4 win over the Jets.
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Dishes out helper
CNew York Islanders
March 24, 2019
Barzal sent out an assist during 15:20 TOI in Saturday's win over the Flyers.
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Tallies two helpers in OT win
CNew York Islanders
March 17, 2019
Barzal finished with two assists in Sunday's 3-2 overtime win against Minnesota.
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