The Islanders and Mathew Barzal agreed to a three-year deal Saturday that will keep the team’s top scorer on Long Island through 2023, a source confirmed to The Post.
Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed, but it’s been widely reported it carries a $7 million average annual value. The 23-year-old star center will earn $3 million in 2020-21 with a $1 million signing bonus, $7 million in 2021-22 and $10 million in the final year, according to TSN.
Barzal’s new deal ties him with captain Anders Lee as the Islanders’ highest-paid player. When it expires, Barzal will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.
After missing the past five days of training camp while negotiations were being hashed out, Barzal was back on the ice Saturday at the Islanders’ training facility. On Wednesday, coach Barry Trotz acknowledged just how tough it’s going to be for “anyone who’s trying to catch up,” with the Islanders’ first game of the season just days away.
Negotiations between Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello and Barzal’s camp, which didn’t have arbitration rights, were delayed as the NHL took time to figure out the logistics of the upcoming season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The extra time allowed Lamoriello to free up cap space by sending defenseman Devon Toews to Colorado and preparing for Johnny Boychuk’s impending long-term injured reserve designation. The Islanders are now roughly $3 million over the upper limit of the salary cap, but that will be taken care of once Boychuk is placed on LTIR and his $6 million cap hit is removed.
Barzal has been the Islanders’ top point producer since his first full NHL season in 2017-18, in which he scored 22 goals and dished 63 assists in 82 games. That year he was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the league’s top rookie.
The former 16th-overall pick in the 2015 draft earned All-Star nods in 2019 and 2020 after recording 62 points (18 goals, 44 assists) and 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) in each respective season.
During the Islanders’ run to the conference final last season, Barzal had a strong offensive showing with five goals and 12 assists in 22 games, including five points on the power play.
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