Matthew Barzal joined Snow on New York Island on Saturday for his first practice of training camp after agreeing on a three-year, $ 21 million contract.
“I love the game, and I was worried,” said Barzal. “ I wanted to hang out with the boys. ”
The 23-year-old star forward recalled the first few days of camp as the NHL’s most prominent unsigned restricted agent. General manager Lou Lamoriello was confident that a deal would be reached, and it was five days before the Islanders opened the season over rival New York Rangers.
Through the 2022-23 season, Barzal would count $ 7 million against the salary cap. He will still be a restricted free agent when this contract expires.
He led the Islanders with 60 points in 19 goals and had 41 assists in 68 games last season. The 2015 first-round pick had 17 points in 22 playoff games during the team’s race to the Eastern Conference Finals and became New York’s best offensive player.
Captain Anders Lee said, “He is the cornerstone of our team.” “He is one of those people who can really change the game at one time. ‘”
Barzal understands that expectations will be high on him, but he does not feel the weight of excessive pressure.
“When you’re ready for something and ready to go, the pressure, I don’t really feel much,” Barzal said. “Now that a substantial amount is being paid, I know that stability is a very big thing.” There is no night ”