Mathew Barzal joined his New York Islanders on the ice for his first practice of training camp Saturday after agreeing to a contract.
The 23-year-old star forward missed the first few days as the NHL’s most prominent unsigned restricted free agent. General manager Lou Lamoriello was confident a deal would get done, and it did five days before the Islanders open the season at the rival Rangers.
Barzal led the Islanders with 60 points on 19 goals and 41 assists in 68 games last season. He had 17 points in 22 playoff games during their run to the Eastern Conference final.
A 2015 first-round pick who has become New York’s best offensive player, Barzal is now locked up for the next three seasons. The contract is reportedly worth $21 million, with an annual $7 million salary cap hit.