The Islanders made a slew of restricted free agent extensions this weekend as the busy season starts for New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello and company. Seven contracts were extended, including Robin Salo, Grant Hutton, Sebastian Aho, Otto Koivula, Jeff Kubiak, Andy Andreoff, and Ken Appleby.
The deadline to extend a qualifying offer to RFAs is at 5pm today.
The remaining RFAs for the Islanders are quite important. Noah Dobson and recently acquired, Alexander Romanov heads the important list. The next tier starts with promising forward, Kieffer Bellows, and former first-round pick, Michael Dal Colle.
Bellows was able to show signs of becoming a scoring threat with some extended ice time this past season. Under new coach, Lane Lambert, more opportunities for younger players may be provided. Dal Colle has had an up-and-down career after being taken fifth overall in 2014. The offense never came along over the years, but Dal Colle was able to make an impact under Barry Trotz in a depth role. It appears that time could be running out for Dal Colle and the Islanders.
The remaining unsigned RFAs are Arnaud Durandeau and Parker Wotherspoon. Durandeau had a strong season with the AHL Bridgeport Islanders, posting 15 goals and 37 points in 64 games. The former sixth-round pick should be brought back to provide depth for the AHL squad.
Wotherspoon took a big step with Bridgeport last season and put himself in the mix to compete for an unlikely roster spot out of training camp or at least a call-up to the big squad at some point. The 2015 fourth-round pick finished the season with 24 points and a plus 7. The left-handed defenseman provides much-needed depth to the AHL and NHL rosters.
Dobson and Romanov, who seemed destined to be a defensive pairing, will command the most dollars from Lamoriello, the former more than the latter. Surely Lamoriello wants to lock up these two key players long-term, we'll see if he can convince them to sign up for it.
These two contracts could certainly have an input on what Lamoriello's next move will be whether it be the trade market or free agency. It is important to note that if these players are not offered qualifying offers, they still have a chance to sign with the Islanders.