The New York Islanders announced today that they had signed prospect Robin Salo to a two-year ELC. They also stated that they had immediately reassigned him back to Orebro of the SHL (where Salo has been since last year).
(Note: A two-year ELC is the maximum term for a player of Salo’s age per the CBA Article 9.1 (b).)
Salo was the Islanders top draft pick in 2017 when they selected him in the second round with the 47th overall pick. (The Islanders traded their first-round pick that year to Vegas as part of expansion draft considerations).
Since that draft in 2017, Salo has steadily emerged as a top defenseman in the SHL. The Isles needed to have him signed by June 1 or else they would risk losing him to free agency. They didn’t let that happen by locking him up to a two-year deal.
New York Islanders sign Robin Salo to two-year ELC
If this is the first time you’ve heard of Robin Salo, you need to know two things. He scores a bunch of points and plays a ton of minutes. Of course, there’s more nuance to his game than that. He’s an incredibly intelligent player who skates well, makes a great first pass out of the zone, and has excellent decision-making skills. But when you look at his stat sheet his production and time on ice stand out.
With 25 points in 39 games, Salo is the eighth highest-scoring defenseman in the SHL (arguably the third-best league in the world).
Over those 39 games, Salo is averaging 21:39 per game. That ranks him ninth in total ice-time for defensemen in the SHL.
He plays a ton of hockey for Orebro and is clearly a step above the competition in Sweden. He’s ready to make the trip West to North America.
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For now, Salo will remain with Orebro. They’re hoping to make a push for the playoffs and maybe even a championship, and Salo will play a big part in that.
I recently ranked Salo second in the Islanders system defensive depth chart behind Sebastion Aho.
Salo is currently on international team duty. He’s representing Finland at the Beijer Hockey Games in Sweden where he’s playing top-four minutes for his national side. Finland is currently 0-1-0-0 in the four-team tournament after a 3-2 opening day loss to Russia