New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech’s contract is set to expire. Don’t look any further than what the team offered teammate Calvin de Haan three years ago.
At the end of the season, New York Islanders prospect Adam Pelech‘s entry-level contract is set to expire. His original deal, signed back in March of 2014, was for three years with a $854,333 cap hit.
This season Pelech stepped into the Isles lineup after Travis Hamonic was sidelined with injury. Pelech immediately took his spot on the top pairing alongside Nick Leddy and didn’t move from that spot for most of the season.
Of his 686 5on5 on-ice minutes this season, Pelech played with Leddy for 335 of them. He put up 10 points on that top pairing and didn’t look put of place for a player that had only played in nine NHL games beforehand.
What does that mean for contract negotiations going into the 2017-18 season between Pelech and the Isles?
New York Islanders
Only A Single Spot
With Dennis Seidenberg‘s single year extension, the Islanders are only going to have a single spot on their blue line. Assuming that a defenseman is plucked in the expansion draft.
Pelech’s next deal will depend on how the Isles are going to use him next season and how they feel about him going into training camp. He might just go through most of the summer without a deal. Instead, relying on the teams qualifying offer to stay in the Islanders system.
RFA & Qualifying Offer
As a restricted free agent the Islanders must tender Pelech a qualifying offer if they hope to retain his rights next season. There’s no reason the Isles won’t give him one. If they don’t at the very least tender him a qualifying offer he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Pelech doesn’t need to accept it. The Isles just need to give him one to keep his rights. It’s a small insignificant step to lock up a player that was a valuable player this season.
Look at de Haan
The best comparable might just be teammate Calvin de Haan. Who in 2014 signed a three-year extension after his entry-level deal expired.
In the 2013-14 season, de Haan featured in 54 contests for the Islanders. Playing most of his hockey with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers after they drafted him 12th overall in 2009.
In those 54 contests, de Haan put up 16 points and exceeded the expectations the team had placed on him when they called him up from Bridgeport. He was rewarded with a three-year $5.9 million deal that summer.
The New York Islanders are likely to lose de Haan in this summer’s expansion draft. There’s going to be a need to fill his spot on the roster. Pelech plays a similar game and makes the perfect fit.
Pelech isn’t a first pair defensemen. He was an adequate fill in for Hamonic and until the coaching staff realized that a Leddy Boychuk pairing was the best in years past for a reason. But assuming he plugs into de Haan’s vacated spot on the roster next season a similar deal, between $1 million to $1.5 million makes sense.