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Islanders sign Barzal to 8-year extension with reported $9.15M AAV

Mike Stobe / National Hockey League / Getty

The New York Islanders signed star forward Mathew Barzal to an eight-year extension on Tuesday.

His new pact has a reported average annual value of $9.15 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. Barzal has one season remaining on his current deal with a cap hit of $7 million. He could have become a restricted free agent following the 2022-23 campaign.

Barzal, 25, recently expressed his desire to stay with the Islanders and said he was aiming to sign an extension before the start of the new season.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said he wanted Barzal to put pen to paper prior to the season so the negotiations wouldn't become a distraction, per The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.

"I genuinely (love it here). I think anyone who plays here knows that it's one of the top places to play in the league," Barzal said after news of the deal broke. "From the practice rink we have, UBS (Arena), the boys in the room, Lou being here, a fresh coaching staff, the city itself - the lifestyle is elite."

Like the Islanders as a whole, Barzal floundered a bit in 2021-22. He put up a career-low 15 goals in 73 games while seeing a slight dip in his ice time. Despite his struggles, he still tied for the team lead in points (59) for the fifth consecutive season.

Additionally, amongst all Islanders skates to log at least 500 minutes at five-on-five, Barzal's 2.79 expected goals for per 60 minutes were the best on the team, per Natural Stat Trick.

He was already tied with captain Anders Lee as the highest-paid player in Long Island, but Barzal will take the lead outright beginning in 2023-24. He currently stands as the 31st-priciest player starting next season, according to CapFriendly, but he may get pushed further down the list; the likes of David Pastrnak and Alex DeBrincat will need new deals come next summer.

Selected by the Islanders in the first round of the 2015 draft, Barzal has 311 points in 362 career contests, as well as an additional 38 points in 49 playoff games.

The Islanders missed the playoffs last season after making two straight trips to the conference finals. New York subsequently parted ways with veteran head coach Barry Trotz, replacing him with former associate coach Lane Lambert.

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