The New York Islanders have locked up a pair of restricted free agents, agreeing to terms with Kyle Burroughs and Devon Toews to two-year contracts. Burroughs’ contract will be two-way, paying him a lower salary at the AHL level. No other financial details have been released.
Neither Toews nor Burroughs has made their debut at the NHL level yet, but are key parts of a Bridgeport Sound Tigers team that is looking to take another step forward this season. Toews especially could give the team a big boost after playing in only 30 games due to a shoulder injury. He had 22 points in those 30 contests though, showing off his offensive upside once again. In his first professional season in 2016-17, Toews recorded 45 points and was a dominant powerplay option for the Sound Tigers who at that point also had Ryan Pulock recording nearly nightly points. While Pulock has now moved on to the NHL, Toews will remain a strong option for Bridgeport this season.
Burroughs doesn’t have the same sort of offensive upside, but has developed into a solid minor league player over the last few seasons. Originally selected in the seventh round five years ago, he spent some time in the ECHL before cementing his spot with the Sound Tigers and providing a solid physical option for the club. With 25 points last season he showed that he can effectively move the puck as well, and should log big minutes this season in the AHL.
Neither signing represents much for the NHL team outside of potential injury call-ups, but does keep a solid core in place for Bridgeport. New GM Lou Lamoriello is determined to create a winning organization in New York, and part of that starts with a successful minor league development program. Though Toews and Burroughs aren’t likely to make a huge NHL impact given their ages (24 and 23 respectively) and lack of experience, they fill out an organizational depth chart that has been made deeper this offseason despite losing some of their very best players in John Tavares and Calvin de Haan.