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The New York Islanders re-signed a key player this week and a prospect won Bronze at the World Juniors. Here’s the weekly recap:
ISLANDERS RE-SIGN MATHEW BARZAL
The Islanders re-signed Mathew Barzal to a three-year deal yesterday, which carries an AAV of $7 million. He was the last top restricted free agent still in need of a contract and he’ll still be an RFA once the contract expires.
MATIAS RAJANIEMI WINS BRONZE AT WJC
Sixth-round pick Matias Rajaniemi was the sole Islanders prospect to take home a medal at the World Juniors. Rajaniemi won Bronze with Team Finland and will also be able to return to the tournament next year.
HO-SANG AND JOBST PLACED ON WAIVERS
We learned today that forwards Josh Ho-Sang and Mason Jobst have been placed on waivers. Both players spent the 2019-20 season in the AHL.
DETAILS ON MATT MARTIN’S CONTRACT EMERGE
We have more details on Matt Martin’s extension, which reportedly carries an AAV of $1.5 million for the next four years. You can read an analysis of the contract here.
ISLANDERS REPORTEDLY TRYING TO TRADE HICKEY/KOMAROV
According to The Fourth Period, the Islanders have tried to trade Thomas Hickey and Leo Komarov along with an asset, in order to clear cap space.
As for our poll questions this week, here are the results, along with my thoughts on how they turned out:
QUESTION: Do you think the Islanders will finish ahead of the Rangers in the standings this season?
Like the rest of the division, the New York teams will likely be quite evenly matched. The Rangers have the stronger offense, the Islanders have the better defense and the goaltending matchup is quite even.
QUESTION: Do you think the Islanders will finish ahead of the Flyers in the standings this season?
I’m not necessarily sold that the Flyers will finish ahead of the Islanders but I do think they have a slight edge. The lineups are fairly comparable but Philadelphia has the better forward group/
QUESTION: Which prospect were you impressed by at the World Juniors?
Neither of Holmstrom/Rajaniemi: 52%
Simon Holmstrom 35%
Matias Rajaniemi: 7%
I personally thought Simon Holmstrom played quite well through stretches of the tournament. He wasn’t dominant by any means but he was getting solid chances and did finish with five points in five games.
QUESTION: Do you think Matt Martin’s reported four-year extension is a good one for the Islanders?
I was surprised to see even 25 per cent of readers voting that they thought Martin’s extension was a good deal for the Islanders. It’s both too much money and too much term.
QUESTION: Do you think the Islanders will finish ahead of the Penguins in the standings this season?
This is another close one. We can expect that Pittsburgh’s goaltending and ability to ice a healthy lineup could be a huge difference-maker, for better or worse.
QUESTION: How do you feel about Mathew Barzal’s new contract?
Good contract: 62%
Fair contract: 32%
Bad contract: 6%
I’d say it’s a fair contract, though the argument could possibly be made that the price could have been higher, based on comparables. Either way, it’s great to see Barzal signed for three years.
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OTHER ISLANDERS ARTICLES FROM JANUARY:
Islanders won't invite Josh Ho-Sang to training camp
Predicting the Islanders' taxi squad
Weekly Recap: Islanders Edition (January 3)
East Division Comparison: Islanders/Rangers
East Division Comparison: Islanders/Flyers
Matias Rajanimi earns Bronze Medal with Finland at World Juniors
Analyzing Matt Martin's reported four-year extension
East Division Comparison: Islanders/Penguins
Islanders re-sign Mathew Barzal