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Editorials

New York Islanders Restricted Free Agent Contract Grades

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 31: Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders reacts to the loss to the New Jersey Devils on March 31, 2018 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Islanders 4-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 31: Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders reacts to the loss to the New Jersey Devils on March 31, 2018 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Islanders 4-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders
TAMPA, FLORIDA – APRIL 09: Drake Caggiula #9 of the North Dakota Fighting Hawks fight for position with Devon Toews #6,Connor Clifton #4 and Michael Garteig #34 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the third period during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Devon Toews | Defense

Contract: 2 Years | $1.4 million
Grade: A+

The 2017-18 season was supposed to be Devon Toews’ big breakout year. He already announced himself to the world in 2016-17 after making the AHL All-Star team and winning the fastest skater competition, and with 45 points in his first AHL season.

Last year was supposed to be the season where Devon Toews showed that he’d outgrown the AHL and was ready for the NHL. But an injured shoulder completely derailed that.

Toews, who was having a great year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before the injury, played only 3 games in 2017-18. His 22 points in that span had him on pace to finish with 56 points by seasons end. It was going to be a great season for Toews. All culminating with the end of his Entry-Level Contract (ELC).

Toews was going to get paid. Was.

But as an RFA and just coming off a significant injury, Toews had very little leverage when it came to negotiations with the Islanders. And Lou took full advantage.

At a $700,000 cap hit over the next two season, Toews has top-four defenseman potential with the fraction of the price tag. They’re different players, but Calvin de Haan just signed for $4.55 million AAV with the Hurricanes. Toews’s deal is about eight percent of de Haan’s.

By the end of Toews’ deal, and if he continues to perform like he has been so far, he’s in for one lucrative deal in 2020. For now, the Islanders get a defender with top-four potential for pennies on the dollar.

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