20-Year-Old Center – New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Islanders in September 2015.
Barzal recorded two assists -- one on the power play -- during Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against the Red Wings.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Mathew Barzal: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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.