Here’s every NHL team’s player to watch break out this year

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 10: Nolan Patrick
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 10: Nolan Patrick /
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New York Islanders: Anthony Beauvillier

Oh, Islanders. What have you gone and done now?

Without franchise center, captain and reliable superstar John Tavares, who decided he’d had enough to the shenanigans after nine long years on the Island (er, and Brooklyn) to run screaming to the Maple Leafs, the Islanders are in danger of relegation.

So how did new GM Lou Lamoriello react to the massive hole left by the former No. 1 overall pick? By doing next to nothing. At least nothing significant on the ice, as the hiring defending Stanley Cup champion coach Barry Trotz is surely worthy of some praise. But Trotz, as good as he is, won’t score any goals from the bench.

Stepping into the chasm up front is Anthony Beauvillier, who had a decent season last year at 20 on a lousy team, scoring 21 goals and adding 15 assists for 36 points in 71 games. But with Tavares gone and everyone moving up a slot down the middle, Beauvillier will suddenly be riding shotgun alongside Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle.

And this, friends, could actually be fun to watch, what with three first-rounders giving it their all to throw pucks at the net. Barzal is the real deal and even though Eberle has some explaining to do about where his potential is going, this duo will give Beauvillier a good chance to score. Which, on the Islanders, is all you can ask.