New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal might not be having the ideal kind of goal-scoring output to start his second season in the NHL, but there is no denying that he is one of the best young talents his franchise has ever seen.
A Tuesday night tilt against the Vancouver Canucks will mark the 101st game of the reigning Calder Trophy winner's career. If the first 100 games were any indication of what the Islanders have, it's that they have a bona fide star.
In his first 100 games as an NHLer, the British Columbia native has racked up 99 points on 24 goals and 75 assists. A bulk of those tallies came in his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017-18, leading the Islanders with 85 points in 82 games behind 22 goals and 63 assists.
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Through 16 games this season, Barzal is close to maintaining that point-per-game output with 14. However, he's had just two goals compared to 12 assists to start., tally No. 2 coming during Saturday night's loss to the Florida Panthers. Not only was his goal not enough on Saturday night, but he came up just short of becoming the 11th player in the past 25 years to put up 100 points in his first 100 games.
Nonetheless, it's been an extremely successful start for the 21-year-old. So successful, in fact, that he's put up the third-most points through his first 100 games in franchise history.
Mike Bossy, considered by many as the greatest pure goalscorer in league history, hit the 100-point mark in just 79 games. He accrued 127 points in his first 100 games. His teammate and fellow Hall-of-Famer Bryan Trottier hit 100 points in his first 93 games.
Barzal blew the doors off the production of former captain John Tavares, considered by many as an all-time franchise great before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer. In Tavares' first 100 games, he had just 66 points.
As many Islanders fans view Barzal as one of the franchise saviors to help erase the memory of Tavares, New York's No. 13 isn't looking too much into his start.
"It's just been a fun ride the last year and a bit," Barzal said (h/t Newsday). "It went by quick. There's ups and downs being the first 100 games, getting used to the speed and the size of these guys up here. I'm just trying to adapt and keep playing my game."