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Islanders Mathew Barzal will get paid in his next contract

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Mathew Barzal is at the end of his entry-level contract with the New York Islanders. After his next deal, he won’t have to be worried about needing a dollar.

Recently Sportsnet’s Steve Dangle put a number of players on the spot and asked them what song they’d like played when they scored a goal. New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal was one the players Steve Dangle asked the question to.

After thinking it over quickly, Barzal pulled Aloe Blacc’s I Need A Dollar. Ther’es no doubt it ‘s a great tune. It’s got a funky bass line, some great accompanying instrumentation, and some soulful crooning from Aloe Blacc.

It’s a great song. Probably not the best goal song out there. Not like I’m one to judge, I’d probably pick something like Kvelertak’s Offernat as my goal song. But the title of the song and Barzal’s situation vis-a-vis was picked up immediately by Dangle.

Clearly, Barzal was just giving him a song he liked and that would probably answer the question well. Barzal isn’t pulling a Dwayne Derosario move where the former TFC striker pretended to sign a cheque after scoring a goal. (see the 4:48 mark of the video)

We know Barzal is going to get paid next season, but how much? What can we say after Barzal has played 70 percent of his contract season?

Market

With 48 points in 58 games, Barzal is on pace for a 68 point season. It’s not his 85 points Calder winning year, but it’s a slights better return than last season. If that pace holds he’ll have scored 215 points in 246 games.

Looking around the league to establish a comparable two recent signings stood out. Nico Hischier‘s deal with the New Jersey Devils and Sebastian Aho‘s deal with Carolina Hurricanes*.

(*It was a matched offer sheet from the Montreal Canadiens.)

Both recently signed deals after their ELC expired, like Barzal’s, and both show where the market is for good young centers about to sign their first standard player contract.

Hischier and Aho

Nico Hischier represents the baseline for Mathew Barzal’s AAV. Hischier’s deal carries an AAV of $7.25 million per season.

The former first overall pick in 2017 is a solid NHL center and is on pace to hit 49 points by the end of the season. If that pace holds he’ll have 148 points in his first three seasons in the NHL. He’s not what you would call a goal-scoring center (like Aho) with a career-high 20 goals in a season.

Whatever Barzal signs won’t be lower than Hischier’s deal.

On the other end of the spectrum is Sebastian Aho who’s AAV is $8.454 million per year for another four years. The Carolina center has been a solid number one center through his first three years in the league. Which is why Montreal went in for the offer sheet, that Carolina matched.

Through his first three years in the league, Aho scored 83 goals. Barzal is on pace to notch 66 goals through his first three years. With 197 points in his first three seasons, Barzal will likely have more overall production than Aho.

Their production through the ELC years is fairly similar. So it’s hard to argue that Mathew Barzal should get a whole lot more than Aho.

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The Deal

A $9 million AAV seems fair for Barzal based on how he’s likely to finish the year and based on how other players have been paid in a similar position recently.

Barzal is one of the most puck dominant players in the NHL and puts up good numbers for the Islanders. Paying him, on average, $9 million a year is going to be good value in perhaps as early as a year’s time.

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