Mathew Barzal joined the New York Islanders on the ice Saturday for his first practice of training camp after agreeing to a three-year, $21-million US contract.
The 23-year-old star forward missed the first few days of camp 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 will count $7 million against the salary cap through the 2022-23 season. He still will be a restricted free agent when this contract expires.
He led the Islanders with 60 points on 19 goals and 41 assists in 68 games last season. The 2015 first-round pick had 17 points in 22 playoff games during their run to the Eastern Conference final and has become New York’s best offensive player.