New York Islanders preparing Anthony Beauvillier for expanded role in 2021

Alexander Wilson
 Anthony Beauvillier , New York Islanders
Sep 11, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal scored against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the 2020 playoffs, the New York Islanders had the oldest team out of all 24 participating clubs. Averaging 28.9 years of age, the Islanders are looking to get younger in 2021, as they continue to develop some of their youth prospects and elevate some 3rd and 4th line players.

One player that excel during the 2020 campaign was Anthony Beauvillier, scoring 39 points and 68 games. He was one of the Islanders’ top rising players last season, and it is expected that he will take a more prominent role moving forward. Some believe that he could be paired with Brock Nelson on the second line, but there’s a decent chance he makes it all the way to the top line in his fourth season as an NHL player.

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How valuable is Beauvillier to the New York Islanders?

Now, Beauvillier is on the final year of a two-year deal, counting $2.1 million against the salary cap. While Lou Lamoriello has his focus elsewhere, he should be considering extending his rising forward beyond the 2021 season. That is the big question, should they extend him now or wait until after next year to make a move?

That obviously comes with its own risks, as he may elect to take his talents elsewhere.

The best part about Beauvillier is that he hasn’t yet reached his peak, and the Islanders must realize that and act accordingly. At just $2.1 million, scoring 39 points in an abbreviated season is fantastic. He’s just 23 years old, meaning he is more than five years younger than the average age of the team this past season. His estimated worth is about $3.5 million per season, so getting him at a $1.3 million discount for 2021 is stellar.

Finding a price point between $3.5 million and $2.1 million is ideal, but I highly doubt Lou will be so proactive as to sign him to an extension already. The more likely scenario is that he waits until next season when the NHL cap increases with a regular campaign under their belts. The loss of revenue due to COVID-19 has forced teams to be cash strapped, so allowing players to play out the rest of their contracts makes sense.