There was a bit of panic among the New York Islanders’ fans when the team entered the training camp without Mathew Barzal. The 23-year-old star forward and the Islanders haven’t agreed to a new deal up to that point, and it seemed like the two sides are ready for a long contract standoff.
However, that won’t be the case as Barzal, who was a restricted free agent this offseason, agreed to a new deal with the franchise over the weekend.
According to the Islanders’ announcement, Barzal inked a three-year commitment that will keep him with the organization through the 2022/23 NHL season. He is set to earn $7 million annually and $21 million overall.
After taking care of the business stuff, Barzal joined Islanders for his first practices ahead of the new season and received a warm welcome from his teammates.
“He’s the cornerstone of our team here a little bit,” said Islanders’ captain Anders Lee. “He’s one of those guys that can really change the game on a dime.”
Barzal emerged as Islanders’ biggest offensive weapon last year, finishing the regular season with 19 goals and 41 assists for a team-leading 60 points. He added 17 points (five goals and 12 assists) in the playoffs, helping the franchise to Eastern Conference Finals.
Mathew Barzal made his NHL debut in 2017/18, delivering a spectacular 85-points season that got him the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. Barzal then went on to make consecutive All-Star selections in the next two seasons.