The New York Islanders made a big splash just over a week before their regular season gets underway.
On Tuesday, the team unveiled an eight-year, $73.2-million contract extension for center Mathew Barzal. The deal is worth just over $9 million per season ($9.15 AAV) and will keep Barzal in blue and orange through the 2030-31 season.
Barzal, 25, was set to enter the final year of his current contract, a three-year bridge deal worth $7 million that was signed before the shortened 2021 season. He’s put up 311 points in 362 games in his six seasons on Long Island to date.
Barzal tied fellow center Brock Nelson for the team lead with 59 points. Despite only scoring a career-low 15 goals, Barzal has either been tied for or led the Islanders in scoring since his outstanding rookie campaign in 2017-18, a season in which he also became the first Islander to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie since Bryan Berard in 1997.
Barzal has also been instrumental in the Islanders’ playoff runs the past few seasons. In the 2020 bubble playoff run, Barzal scored 17 points in 22 postseason games (third in scoring behind Josh Bailey and Nelson) as the Isles advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in 27 seasons. In the following postseason in 2021, Barzal led the team with 14 points in 19 games as the Isles reached the Final Four for the second-consecutive time.
Barzal, one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers, was picked 16th overall by the Islanders in the 2015 Entry Draft. Compared to his fellow draftees, Barzal sits just outside the top 10 in goals (91) but ranks fifth in assists (220) and seventh in points (311).