NY Islanders announce signings of two 2020 draft picks to entry-level contracts

Merrimack v Massachusetts-Lowell
Merrimack v Massachusetts-Lowell / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

While the New York Islanders were putting in final practice before the start of their best-of-seven series against the Carolina Hurricanes, the organization announced the signings of two 2020 draftees, goaltender Henrik Tikkanen and forward Alex Jefferies, to two-year entry-level contracts that go into effect at the start of next season.

Tikkanen, who was a seventh-round pick (121st) overall at the 2020 NHL Draft and stands a staggering 6 feet 8 inches tall, made his AHL debut with Bridgeport this season. The Finland native put up some of the best stats of his young professional career, going 7-5-2 with a 2.17 GAA and a .927 save percentage. The 23-year-old was 18-17-3 with the Worcester Railers of the ECHL the previous season, posting a 3.22 goals-against average. He should get the bulk of the work next season with the B-Isles.

Meanwhile, there's excitement surrounding Jefferies, a fourth-round pick (121st) overall in 2020, who earned a nomination for the 2024 Hobey Baker Award after finishing up his college career with Merrimack College last season, scoring 13 goals and 10 assists in 22 games. During his junior season, he tallied 41 points (14G, 27A) in 38 games while playing in the Hockey East Conference.

Like Matthew Maggio last year, Jefferies signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) with Bridgeport and has skated in 10 games, registering three goals and three assists. The signing for Jefferies was rumored as far back as Mar. 19, a day before he signed his ATO. The two sides had until August 15th to make the deal official. The plan will be for him to start next season with Bridgeport.