While the New York Islanders surpassed all expectations this past season, one player who fell short of individual expectations was Anthony Beauvillier.
Beauvillier had taken steps forward in the 2017-18 season, where he upped his production to 24.3 goals and 41.6 points per 82 games from his 2016-17 totals of 11.2 goals and 29.8 points per 82 games. This past season should’ve been somewhat of a breakout year for Beauvillier but instead he fell flat, scoring just 28 points.
Still unsigned, we’re likely to see Beauvillier take a two or three year “prove it” bridge-deal in the range of $2M per year. In fact, feeling like he still needs to “prove it” might be the best way to describe how to feel about Beauvillier’s development thus far. He only really had one good stretch of play this season which came between mid-November and early January, where he scored 11 goals and 17 points in 28 games. Beauvillier totalled just 11 points in the other 53 games.
Despite struggling this year, his background points to the fact that he should be a productive forward in the NHL. In 114 games between his two final QMJHL seasons, Beauvillier scored 82 goals and 173 points. That’s pretty elite production, especially considering he did it between his second and third year of junior eligibility.
When Beauvillier reaches his ceiling, the hope would be that he could be good for about 30 goals and between 50-60 points per year. The Islanders need to get younger while needing scoring even more desperately and hopefully within a few years Beauvillier is a two birds, one stone kind-of-deal. After all, he’s still just 22 years old.
Due to the fact that the Islanders didn't add Artemi Panarin or anything other winger in free agency, Beauvillier should be spending time in the top-six next season. There, he’ll have another shot to become the legitimate NHL goal scoring winger that the Islanders had hoped for when they selected him in 2015.
Despite the fact that Beauvillier is fresh off an entry-level contract though, this is a massive year for him and his development. A great year and he’ll solidify New York’s top two lines. Another stagnant season and it may be a Sam Bennett situation where despite promise, Beauvillier struggles to be anything more than a bottom-six forward.