As the New York Islanders continue their playoff push and we notice what they have been able to do, they wouldn’t have been able to do it without Anthony Beauvillier. He was drafted 28th overall in the historic 2015 draft by the New York Islanders. The young winger has raised his game every year since coming into the league. The Quebec native continues to showcase his skills after an impressive round one performance vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the regular season, he was their second-best forward, however, after the disappearance of Matthew Barzal in the playoffs this year, he has risen to the occasion. Beauvillier currently leads New York in points, shots on goal, medium danger shot attempts, and low danger shot attempts. He’s currently playing at a pace of 3.22 points per game during this year’s playoffs, the 28th pick is paying off for the Islanders.
Anthony Beauvillier Shines for New York
After being drafted by New York in the first round in 2015, the winger made the jump to the NHL in the 2016-17 season where he put up 24 points in 66 games as a rookie. Since then, Anthony Beauvillier has come into his own as an Islander. You can even argue he’s been the MVP of their team during this year’s playoffs where the Islanders have been one of the underdog teams. This season the winger collected 28 points in 47 games. He sustained a lower-body injury early in the season but only took off from there. If the Islanders are playing the Penguins in the playoffs, expect this youngster to heat up and light the lamp.
Style of Play
Anthony Beauvillier is definitely a young player you’d want on your team. The former QMJHL player is a two-way forward who drives play offensively and can be relied on to play solid defence when needed to. He’s a quick undersized shifty forward who uses his edges and speed to push past defensemen on his way to the net while being crafty with his puck skills. Although this season he was a winger, he can be an option as centermen being solid in the faceoff circle. It’s easy to see why he’s so valuable in Barry Trotz’s system. Every coach loves an adaptable player. A good player comparison would be to Viktor Arvidsson. Both are shifty undersized forwards who are the underrated key pieces to their respective teams. To complete his game he should work on getting stronger in his lower body so he can utilize his speed and start implementing Sidney Crosby type agility in the corners along with continuing to improve his defensive game. The one thing you’ll often find with smaller players is how much heart they have, you’ll easily find that in Anthony Beauvillier.
Analytically Beauvillier has been great this season. His strong analytics back up his play. His offence was dominant in the regular season. He had an expected goals for rate (xGF) of 10.8 capping it off with 15 goals. On the defensive side, he isn’t a liability either. He carried an expected even-strength defence (xEVD) rate of 1.3 which was third-best among Islanders forwards while also only playing 770 minutes. The young forward has a solid balance of his game being great offensively and good defensively. He provided tons of value to the Islanders in the regular season contributing 1.6 expected wins above replacement (xWAR) and 9 expected goals above replacement (xGAR). He’s also creating the second most high danger chances on the Islanders in this year’s playoffs.
chart provided by Evolving Hockey
Since resigning a two-year contract in 2019 with the Islanders, Beauvillier has taken on a bigger role. He has been a key piece on the dominant second line of himself, Brock Nelson, and Josh Bailey. After this season Beauvillier will become an RFA. It is very likely that the Islanders will be willing to pay their young winger a bigger paycheck. The youngster has by far exceeded expectations during the playoffs and regular season this year. There’s no doubt in my mind, Anthony Beauvillier will be back.
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