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Beauvillier Benefitting From Bigger Role

With 12 points in 18 games, Anthony Beauvillier is off to the best start of his career

by Cory Wright WrightsWay /

Anthony Beauvillier had himself a week. 

Beauvillier scored four goals last week, potting a pair in both of the Islanders' wins - a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday and a wild 4-3 comeback over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Beauvillier both got the Isles comeback started against the Flyers and tied the score with 2:04 to play. 

Last week was an exclamation point on what's been a hot start to the season for Beauvillier, who now has 12 points (6G, 6A) in 18 games. That marks Beauvillier's best start to a season in his NHL career, after recording six points in 18 games last season (including just one in the first 16 games) and five points through 18 games in 2017-18. He recorded seven points out of the gate in his rookie year. 

"I'm at a much better place in my mind coming into the season," Beauvillier told reporters in Philadelphia. "I worked really hard in the summer and made sure I was in the right mindset. I want to stay positive every day and it's been working so far. I have a bigger role on the team now and I take a lot of pride in what I do."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: FIVE HOLE!

Beauvillier's confidence is partially a product of increased responsibility under Trotz. The 22-year-old has seen his TOI/GP go up by nearly three minutes (1:40 at even strength) and he plays in all situations, getting ample time on both the power play and penalty kill. 

"It gets you on the ice a little bit more and makes you feel better on the ice and like the team needs you a little bit more," Beauvillier said. "It gives you a little edge just to step up a bit in your game and to be dialed in a bit more."

It's a similar formula to how Barry Trotz unlocked Brock Nelson's potential last season, leading Nelson to a career year. The Isles' coach said the increase was warranted after what he saw in Beauvillier in the second half of the season. 

"There was a little bit of a carry over into the start of this year. Also, I think he knows I trust him," Trotz said. "We've given him a little more responsibility killing penalties. He's doing a lot more of those types of things. He's getting different types of matchups that he wouldn't have got last year, so I think he's earned that confidence and he's earned my trust. When you earn the trust you generally get confidence, so it goes hand in hand."

Video: TOR@NYI: Beauvillier wires home power-play goal

Beauvillier's formed a nice chemistry with Nelson and Derick Brassard this season, giving the Islanders a second reliable scoring line behind Mathew Barzal's unit. Nelson is second on the Islanders with 14 points (4G, 10A) and Brassard is third with 13 points (6G, 7A). Brassard has recorded 12 points since being moved to the wing alongside Nelson and Beauvillier.  

"He's hungry and it's been a lot of fun playing on his line," Brassard said of Beauvillier after the win over the Leafs. "He's the engine on our line, he's the youngest one and we expect him to have the most energy every night. It's been a lot of fun playing with those two guys. Beau is one of our best players this season. Hopefully he can keep going that way."

Beauvillier is taking it all in stride, coming to the rink with a positive attitude and playing with poise and confidence. 

"I'm just having fun going out there and playing and not thinking too much," Beauvillier said.

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