The person who has the highest expectations of Anthony Beauvillier is none other than Anthony Beauvillier.
The New York Islanders’ 23-year-old winger preparing for a breakout season in what is already his fifth season with the club, fresh off a career-best 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 68 games.
“I’m ready to take the next step in my game,” Beauvillier said. “I want to be a better player, a more consistent player, and a big part of this group. I just have to do it. It’s time for me.
“Obviously as a player and as a team you want to have success and play good and feel good about yourself.”
As he’s gradually matured into a second-line winger that will be tasked in making large contributions to the Islanders’ offense, Beauvillier has been plagued by largely streaky play. He’d heat up and look like a premier goal scorer for a week but then drop off for a month.
Now, consistency is the name of the game.
“You learn as a player and you know what you’ve done wrong in the past,” Beauvilier said. “It’s more about consistency and it doesn’t matter if you get points every night or not… If you do the right thing, the points come.
“Sometimes you kind of feel it, sometimes you don’t. It’s a tough league and it’s tough to get points. When those streaks happen, you just want to take advantage of it… You don’t want to have just streaks, you want to have consistency.”
His head coach, Barry Trotz, understands that Beauvillier has continued to perform under the proper mindset, even if there are occasional downturns in his production.
“He got hot and cold and would go through long streaks in which he wasn’t producing and that affected him,” Trotz said. “Points and assists mattered. What he’s learned is that it’s not necessarily about the points and assists, it’s about the process. It’s about playing well and doing all the right things… getting ready for your shift… that’s when you start producing.
“It’s eased his mind a bit and that’s when he’s just grown… Everybody likes to get points, that’s part of being an athlete is having success individually, but the end game is to win hockey games.”
Continuity can only help a young player like Beauvillier, and Trotz is setting him up with just that as the winger will once again flank a second line with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey — the team’s most consistent line last season when they made a run to the Eastern Conference Final.
For Nelson, he’s ready to take a front seat for Beauvillier’s ascension toward stardom.
“I think he’s taken quite a few steps in terms of consistency for sure,” Nelson said. “His point numbers have gone up, he’s contributed, and even when he’s not, he’s getting chances… and learning to impact the game in different ways.
“That being said, there’s still more room for him to grow and he knows that… That’s a part of being a competitor and he’s that.
“He has a high ceiling.”