Not ready yet: Isles return Barzal to junior club

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Over the summer, Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal was touted as a wild card who could possibly help lessen the blow of losing Frans Nielsen to free agency.

But after appearing in just two games for the NHL club, Barzal has been returned to his junior club in Seattle.

The Isles announced the move this morning. Barzal, 19, hasn’t played since Oct. 26, when he logged just 9:20 against the Canadiens. He was a minus-2 in that game, a 3-2 victory for Montreal.

His only other game, his NHL debut on Oct. 15 against the Capitals, Barzal took a bizarre penalty for playing the puck while standing inside the penalty box.

Two games. No points. Three penalties.

“Honestly, aside from the penalties, I thought my game was pretty solid on both ends,” he told The Province newspaper recently. “I created a couple of chances in Washington — a pass to Johnny Boychuk and he hit the post — and defensively my line was pretty solid. But at the end of the day I have to produce.”

And he has to play, which he’ll get to do now, albeit in the WHL.

The Isles play in Tampa Bay on Thursday.