The New York Islanders have signed defenseman Adam Pelech to a four-year contract, the team announced Monday.
On Monday, the Islanders announced the signing of Adam Pelech to a four-year, $6.4 million deal.
The contract carries an average annual value of $1.6 million, Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports. It will expire after the 2020-21 season, when Thomas Greiss becomes an unrestricted free agent and Linus Söderstrom and Mathew Barzal become RFA’s.
“Adam has proven at a very young age that he’s capable of playing an important defensive role on our team,” Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said. “He will be an important piece of our defensive core moving forward and I’m excited to watch him continue to develop at the NHL level.”
Pelech, 22, split last season with the Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 44 games at the NHL level, he notched 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) and provided important minutes on the team’s third defensive pairing. But his status as an inexperienced rookie also showed, because as his playing time increased, so did the frequency in which he got exposed.
Once the team’s third round pick in 2012, he spent nine games in Brooklyn during the 2015-16 season, mostly because of injuries. Pelech represented Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championships, where they finished in fourth place.
Defensemen tend to take a long time to develop, so at just 22 years of age and with a new head coach at the helm, the front office clearly sees enough promise to extend Pelech’s contract. The consensus is clear: the contract is a steal.
Instead of clarifying what the Islanders’ defense will look like in 2017-18, it just complicates things. The Isles will have eight defensemen who all need waivers to be sent down next season. The problem is that they only have six spots.
Who’s the odd man out? It could be Ryan Pulock, who shockingly spent all of last season down in Bridgeport, despite his promise as a top-4 defender and power play leader.
Calvin de Haan is arbitration eligible, and the expectation is that he will agree to terms before his August 2nd hearing. The Isles have $6,934,167 left in cap space, with holes to fill and de Haan to re-sign.
It wouldn’t shock anyone if the Isles choose to carry seven defensemen — Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Dennis Seidenberg, Scott Mayfield, Pelech and de Haan.
In the meantime, though, they’ll be looking forward to four more years of Adam Pelech.