EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — Mathew Barzal is constructive he can signal a new contract with the New York Islanders before the beginning of this season.
The 25-year-old middle is coming into the general season of a three-year contract and will turn into a limited loose agent. Barzal, who was once a first-round pick out (No. 16) via the Islanders on the 2015 NHL Draft, tied middle Brock Nelson for the group lead with 59 issues (15 objectives, 44 assists) closing season.
“It’s two weeks before the season and hopefully we can hammer something out,” Barzal mentioned after the primary day of coaching camp Thursday. “If not, I’m not really worried about it because my heart’s here and I know we’ll get something fair and something the two sides are happy about.”
Barzal’s feedback echoed the ones made via Islanders normal supervisor Lou Lamoriello previous this week. New York performs its first sport of the common season Oct. 13 towards the Florida Panthers.
“We expect a lot out of him,” Lamoriello mentioned Monday. “He expects a lot out of himself. … He’s without question one of our leaders. Without question, probably our most talented player and he’s committed without question. He’s ready to prove a lot of things, and I (have) total confidence and I’m his biggest fan.”
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New York (37-35-10) ignored the Stanley Cup Playoffs closing season for the primary time since 2018, completing 16 issues at the back of the Washington Capitals for the second one wild card within the Eastern Conference. Barry Trotz was once fired as trainer May 9 and changed via Lane Lambert on May 16.
The Islanders reached the 3rd around of the postseason in 2020 and 2021.
“It was a long summer,” Barzal mentioned. “We had a lot to think about.
“I wish to turn out (to) them in an instant in camp that I’ve taken a step and I labored laborious this summer time. I’m positive that is the identical mindset that everybody is making an attempt to turn out. I imply, for me the next move is simply, I think there (had been) video games the place [I’m playing well and] there (are) different video games the place positive instances do not move my means and I roughly get off a little bit bit. So, for me, it is about having that top stage of play. I wish to emphasize my backcheck. I wish to emphasize stripping pucks. … That top stage of consistency I think find it irresistible’s there periodically every now and then and it is simply were given to be constant on a daily basis.”
Barzal put an emphasis on improving his play in the neutral and defensive zones, but there is an external belief his offensive capabilities have not been fully unlocked. He had 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year in 2017-18 but never had more than 62 points in four seasons under Trotz.
Lambert said he will use training camp to figure out which linemates would suit Barzal best.
“We’ll see how issues play themselves out,” Lambert said. “We’re simply at Day One right here and now we have were given a while and a few [preseason] video games to determine issues out. … He pushes the play and he pushes the tempo. He wishes a man who can paintings neatly with him on the subject of paintings ethic and such things as that. We’ll see how we move.”