Mathew Barzal

Mathew Barzal

26-Year-Old CenterC
New York Islanders
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Barzal endured a down campaign by his standards in 2021-22, finishing with 15 goals and 59 points in 73 contests. He bounced back from a points-per-game perspective last season, but injuries limited him to 58 appearances in which he recorded 14 goals and 51 points. The 26-year-old is entering the first season of an eight-year, $73.2 million contract that seems like a fair price. It puts him meaningfully behind the cap hit of elite forwards like Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon or Auston Matthews, but it still adequately reflects Barzal's status as a clear top-line forward. That Islanders first line is looking better than it has in years thanks to the acquisition of Bo Horvat on Jan. 30. Barzal's injury issues prevented him from developing chemistry with Horvat last season, but they're likely to share the ice going into the 2023-24 campaign. Barzal will appreciate having someone of Horvat's caliber to feed the puck to, and that should push Barzal above the 60-point mark for the first time since 2019-20. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $73.2 million contract extension with the Islanders in October of 2022.
Two points in OT win
CNew York Islanders
February 21, 2024
Barzal scored a goal and added an assist in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Penguins.
ANALYSIS
The 26-year-old found the back of the net in the second period before helping to set up Adam Pelech for the OT winner. Barzal has gotten onto the scoresheet in eight straight games, collecting five goals and 11 points over that stretch. Since the calendar flipped to 2024, he's erupted for 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 19 contests.
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NHL Stats
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2023 NHL Game Log
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2022 NHL Game Log
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2023–24 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    20:01
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    3:00
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:02
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2021–22
18:01
2:39
0:01
2022–23
18:43
3:29
0:01
2023–24
20:01
3:00
0:02
Islanders Depth Chart
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Islanders Power Play Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Mathew Barzal See More
Hutch's Hockey: The Most Interesting Deadline Team
3 days ago
Where's the trades? Shawn Hutchinson analyzes what's holding up the market and what you can do to improve your fantasy team via trades and the waiver wire this week.
NHL Barometer: Risers and Fallers
9 days ago
This week's group of risers is led by Mathew Barzal, who has thrived under new coach Patrick Roy.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
There's zero question Barzal is the Islanders' most talented forward. That said, talent and production aren't the same thing, and Barzal has struggled with the latter at times over the course of his career. He had just 15 goals (and 59 points) in 73 games in 2021-22, including just a single score in his final 15 games. Barzal's season was even more underwhelming when you consider 20 of those points came with the man advantage. Simply put, there are too many evenings when Barzal doesn't impact a game like he should. There's mid-round fantasy value here regardless, and Barzal is still just 25 years old, but expecting him to match or exceed the 85 points we saw from him in his 2017-18 rookie season would be unwise.
Although he hasn't been able to replicate the elite production of his 2017-18 campaign, when he racked up 85 points in 82 games, Barzal turned in another solid year with 17 goals and 28 assists in 55 contests in 2020-21. Sixteen of those goals came at even strength as Barzal struggled to find the net with the man advantage. If he can improve on his career-low eight power-play points, Barzal should be a lock for 20 goals and 60-70 points in 2021-22.
Barzal had another rock-solid season in 2019-20, leading the Islanders in scoring with 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) while firing 171 shots on net and averaging just over 20 minutes of ice time per contest in 68 games. The 2015 first-round pick is one of the best skaters in the NHL, but he has yet to find a way to translate that ability into elite offensive production. He'll nonetheless have 20-plus goal and point-per-game upside while being featured on the Isles' first line and top power-play unit for the foreseeable future, making him a nice pickup for fantasy managers looking to add a secondary option up front in the early-to-mid rounds of this year's drafts.
The 22-year-old wasn't quite able to replicate his point-per-game average from his rookie season in 2018-19, but credit that to the fact that Barzal took on a larger responsibility playing center on the top line without John Tavares. In 82 games, he posted 18 goals and 62 points while registering a minus-5 rating last season. As the Islanders' top center, Barzal drew the opposition's top defense pairing every night, which hurt his production for obvious reasons. New coach Barry Trotz stressing defensive structure over offense didn't help, either. Those same problems will be present for Barzal in 2019-20, so owners shouldn't expect him to return to a point per game level, but he's still a candidate for 20 goals and 70 points.
After becoming the first rookie since Evgeni Malkin to play at least 75 games and average more than a point per contest, the sky appears to be the limit for the Calder Trophy winner. Barzal scored 22 goals and 85 points while playing in 82 games last season. However, it remains to be seen how the 21-year-old will handle the opposition's top defensive pairing on a nightly basis, as Barzal is projected to center the top line following John Tavares' departure. Keep an eye on who joins him. Barzal and Jordan Eberle made up a strong second line last season, and if Eberle joins Barzal with Anders Lee on the top line, the prized pivot at least figures to be consistent. All told, Barzal is now the best fantasy option from the Islanders and a rock-solid No. 2 in standard leagues.
The Isles drafted Barzal No. 16 overall in 2015 and gave him a two-game taste of the NHL this past season, though the B.C. native spent most of 2016-17 playing for Seattle of the WHL, where he averaged nearly two points per game despite managing only 10 regular-season goals. Barzal proceeded to dominate in the playoffs, racking up seven goals and 18 assists over 16 games en route to the WHL Championship. That performance is promising as the 20-year-old pivot looks to secure a regular role with the Islanders this season, but the NHL club is chock-full of centers and has a lot of players competing for roles on the wings as well. With the Isles’ youth movement in full swing, Barzal will be among a number of youngsters looking to establish themselves at hockey’s highest level, so training camp will be an important bellwether for him.
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.
More Fantasy News
Five-game, seven-point streak
CNew York Islanders
February 10, 2024
Barzal picked up an assist in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Calgary.
ANALYSIS
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Pair of points in win
CNew York Islanders
February 8, 2024
Barzal scored a goal on three shots, added an assist and logged two hits in Thursday's 6-2 win over the Lightning.
ANALYSIS
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Tallies opening goal
CNew York Islanders
February 5, 2024
Barzal scored a goal on three shots and added two hits in Monday's 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
ANALYSIS
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Two PP points in Montreal
CNew York Islanders
January 26, 2024
Barzal scored a goal and added an assist, both on the power play, in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Canadiens.
ANALYSIS
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Snags two helpers
CNew York Islanders
January 22, 2024
Barzal registered a pair of assists in Sunday's 3-2 win over Dallas.
ANALYSIS
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