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New York Islanders 2018-19 Roster 5 Best Contracts

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 20: Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders poses with the Calder Memorial Tropy given to the NHL’s top rookie in the press room at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

1. Mathew Barzal

Cap Hit: $863,333
Production: 20 points, 22 games

Sure, Mathew Barzal is on an entry-level contract. And ELCs, by design, can’t exceed $925,000 in terms of their cap hit. But Barzal, the Calder Trophy winner has a cap hit that’s lower than the max $925,000.

To be fair, that’s not because of the deal Barzal signed. His initial ELC was for the max three years and for the full $925,000. But because Barzal only made his NHL debut last season in 2017 the Islanders were able to extend (or “slide”) his ELC another two season.

So in 2018-19, the New York Islanders have less than $900,00 dedicated to a player that’s scored 105 points in 104 games since making his NHL debut.

It may have started slow in 2018-19 for the reigning rookie of the year. Barry Trotz is trying to turn Barzal into an effective two-way player, and not just an offensive threat.

This season Barzal second on the team in scoring with 20 points. Only Josh Bailey has more with 21 points. Barzal is starting to pick up where he left off last season. He has eight points in his last eight games after a three-game pointless streak.

Mathew Barzal is one of the most exciting players in the NHL. When the puck is on his stick something is going to happen. And he’s costing the Islanders less than $900,000 on the cap. The Isles don’t have to worry about a contract for Barzal until next season.

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