There are many players, specifically forwards, who will need to put up better numbers in order for the Islanders to succeed this season. Here are two players alongside the obvious choice, Jordan Eberle, who I think could potentially breakout this season:
Last year, Jordan Eberle was very inconsistent during the regular season, putting up only 19 goals and 18 assists in 78 games. Although he struggled to find his grove, Eberle completely took off in the playoffs, scoring four goals and five assists. So far in the preseason, Eberle has scored four goals and added an assist in four games played while playing alongside Mat Barzal and Anders Lee. It is clear that Eberle and Barzal have incredible chemistry, and I believe that they will finally take off this year, leading to Eberle having a breakout season. I expect Eberle to score 25+ goals this year, significantly helping the Isles offense.
Islanders fans have been calling for Devon Toews to make his NHL debut for a few seasons now, but last year he finally got his chance. When Thomas Hickey went down on Dec. 17 with an upper-body injury, Toews stepped in and never looked back. The 25-year-old rookie put up five goals and 13 assists in 48 games and was a +7 during that time. He added a goal and four assists in the eight playoff games. It is clear that Devon Toews is not only a solid defenseman but has tremendous offensive abilities and is a real scoring threat. He provides offense on a regular basis and does a great job on the power-play as well. Toews is set to play in his first full NHL season, and I don’t think 40+ points for him is out of the question.
In his first three seasons in the NHL, Anthony Beauvillier has shown flashes of talent but has been very inconsistent. Last season, Beauvillier scored 18 goals and added 10 assists for a total of 28 points, which is eight fewer points than he scored in the previous season. One thing that may be difficult for Beauvillier is that he has found himself constantly changing linemates, so he has struggled to find chemistry. So far in the preseason, he has been playing on the third-line alongside Derrick Brassard and has looked solid, scoring two goals in three preseason games played. If Beauvillier and Brassard can find some chemistry, I don’t see any reason why he can’t get back to scoring 20+ goals this year.