Islanders in Review is assessing every player from the 2021-22 New York Islanders season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them on the island. Today, we feature winger Anthony Beauvillier:
Position: Left Wing/Right Wing
2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 75-12-22-34
Contract Status: Two years remaining with a $4.15 million AAV
The expectations for 24-year-old Anthony Beauvillier were sky-high entering his sixth year in the NHL. He had come off a postseason in which he scored one of the biggest goals in New York Islanders history, as he beat Tampa Bay Lightning’s superstar netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy glove side in overtime of Game 6 to force a Game 7 in the Semi-Finals.
Here’s the goal which is probably still fresh in your memory bank:
Anthony Beauvillier is the OT hero & Nassau Coliseum goes CRAZY! 🚨
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) June 24, 2021
The Nassau Coliseum crowd went into a frenzy as Beauvillier was a hero on Long Island, with his goal at the top of the memory banks for Islanders fans for a very long time.
However, Anthony Beauvillier was invisible for most of the 2021-22 season.
Out of his 12 goals, only seven came at even strength, which ranked 11th on Islanders. According to Natural Stat Trick, Beauvillier had an Expected Goals For (five on five) of 11.63, which ranked third on the team. The inability to finish is what led to his lackluster numbers.
Beauvillier took a career-high 252 shot attempts, with 47 misses, while 51 of his attempts were blocked.
His shooting percentage regressed from 13.8% in 2020-21 to just 7.8% in 2021-22. He was not as responsible with the puck, as he set a new career-high in turnovers with 52.
The New York Islanders lines were shuffled often, with Anthony Beauvillier playing on the top line one game and the fourth line another game due to all the players in and out of the lineup.
“I can be much better than what I showed this year, and that’s where the frustration was, where I know my potential and I just wasn’t playing to it. And yeah, I just got in my own head, got frustrated a little bit with that, but it’s in the past. And I’m looking for over the summer. Like I said, I’m gonna get bigger, faster, stronger, and be ready for next year.”
2021-22 Islanders Highlights
There was not many highlight-reel goals for Anthony Beauvillier this past season. Probably his most important goal came back on Dec. 16, when he snapped a 14-game goal-less streak in a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins.
He pulled out the good ol’ slapper as he sniped Boston netminder Linus Ullmark which ultimately was credited as the game-winner.
PPG for #️⃣1️⃣8️⃣ pic.twitter.com/nTqI6T4N1t
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 17, 2021
Twice during the season, Anthony Beauvillier recorded three-assist nights. His first was back on Nov. 4, in a 6-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens and his second came against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-0 win back on Mar. 10.
In a 10-game span from Mar. 10 to Mar. 25, Anthony Beauvillier showed much success on the top line with Anders Lee and Brock Nelson with one goal and nine assists.
2021-22 Islanders Lowlights
Now unfortunately for Beauvillier, there were more lowlights than highlights.
The lowest of the lows came back on Dec. 11, when head coach Barry Trotz elected to bench Beauvillier for a game against the New Jersey Devils. The forward had no points over his last 13 games and found himself in the dog house after making a mistake the game prior in a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators, which led to a 10-minute benching.
That point-less streak lasted 14 games before the goal above against the Bruins.
In early March, Trotz demoted Beauvillier to the fourth line to try to wake up his young forward and get him back to the basics. He performed in that role, as he appeared to have been sparked by the decision, yet as we saw, Beauvillier just never got into a rhythm of consistent production.
In the final 13 games of the regular season, Beauvillier had just one goal and one assist.
What Does His Islander Future Hold?
At 24 and under control for another two years, the New York Islanders have a dilemma on their hands. Only once in his six-year career has he netted over 20 goals, but if full seasons came to fruition the last two seasons prior to this past one, he surely would have got there.
But because of his age and contract, it does make him an asset. And the New York Islanders need to improve their roster for the 2022-23 season, with the priorities a top-four defenseman and a more consistent top-six forward.
New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello made it clear following a silent trade deadline and following the firing of head coach Barry Trotz that if there are hockey trades that will bolster his team, he will make them.
And if I’m an opposing team, Beauvillier is certainly a player that would peak my interest, but would be a part of a package for a player, not the main piece given his inconsistencies.
On the other hand, does Lou Lamoriello give Beauvillier another chance with Barry Trotz out of the picture?
We have no idea what kind of adjustments newly appointed head coach Lane Lambert will be making to the defensive-minded system he inherits. Could Beauvillier flourish in a more loose system, or was this season the player that Beauvillier will be. If Lamoriello believes that Beauvillier is more of the player was saw this past season, trading him now seems like the right move.
If Lamoriello waits and the production stays the same, Beauvillier’s value will diminish exponentially.
My prediction is that Beauvillier is not on the roster when the 2022-23 season begins, but if he is, this season becomes his biggest in the NHL as he has much to prove.