The fact this kid has just anonymously won the Calder trophy is unreal in itself. Yes, Brock Boeser missed the last month of the year but the winner was clear from day one when Matt Barzal blessed the Islanders with his presence.
Aside from the fact, Barzal has 82 points in 80 games, four game-winning goals, and 26 power play points. I am not sure we can keep track of his accomplishments of player of the week, player of the month, etc this kid has gone above and beyond in all expcetations this team and fans had for him. He’s up there in assists among the league leader(Barzal 60, Giroux 67), right there in points among the league(sort of he is top-20 though), and is just a point behind John Tavares for points among the Islanders leaders. Barzal has proved to be one of the best rookies in the league and one of the best rookies in the last 10 years or so since Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Just after Barzal’s four point night Tuesday, he became the first rookie since Crosby to record 60 assists in one season and the first rookie to record 80 points since Malkin. Process that, and realize who Malkin and Crosby are.
Barzal has not only shattered records month after month, but I think the conversation has to start that Barzal may possibly be the best rookie in New York for quite some time. I do not know all the rookies in NY sports history but he has certainly made this Islanders team much better than they should be and has gained a ton of media attention that has put New York sports on the map even more than it already was.
Talk is cheap, so for the sake of me trying to sway you here, watch this video of Barzal and tell me your jaw did not drop several times.