There’s still hope for the New York Islanders.
Yes, it’s true they’ve lost some good players to free agency. They lost one of their best defensemen as well as their second-leading scorer from last season. Gone, too, is Garth Snow’s final trade deadline masterpiece. But there’s hope for this team yet, and I say that for one primary reason above all others.
There’s hope because of Mathew Barzal.
Mathew Barzal is the 2017-18 NHL Rookie of the Year. He won the Calder Trophy at the NHL Awards in late June and he did so handily. His 85 points were the most by a rookie in over 10 years and his 63 assists were tied for the third-most by a rookie ever.
To honor his special rookie season, I have updated the detailed highlights video I made back in December of his first 30 games (the most-watched Barzal video on YouTube, I’m proud to say). What follows is 40 minutes detailing Mathew Barzal’s entire rookie season, from start to finish.
And here’s a bonus video showing Barzal’s dominance over the Rangers: 10 points in four games played. This includes Barzal’s first NHL goal on Oct. 19th as well as his five-point game on Jan. 13th, one of the three five-point games he put up as a rookie (a feat last accomplished 100 years ago). Barzal looked particularly dominant in Madison Square Garden, a trend I wouldn’t mind to see continue next season and beyond.
So there you have it. Mathew Barzal had one of the greatest rookie seasons we’ve seen in a long time and we should all be thrilled to have this kid leading the way moving forward.