One of the most interesting arbitration cases on the schedule this year was Devon Toews, who would have had to sit across the (virtual) table from Colorado Avalanche management that barely knew him. The Avalanche traded two second-round picks for Toews earlier this offseason, taking him away from the New York Islanders. That hearing, scheduled for October 31, will not be needed anymore, as the team has reached a four-year contract with Toews that will pay him an average annual value of $4.1MM.
CapFriendly has the full breakdown:
- 2020-21: $2.35MM
- 2021-22: $3.55MM
- 2022-23: $4.6MM
- 2023-24: $5.9MM
Toews, 26, is giving up three years of unrestricted free agency in the deal and turning down the chance to walk into the open market next offseason. An arbitration award would have only been able to be a one-year deal, making him a UFA at the age of 27. In exchange for giving that up, Toews has received quite the raise over the $700K salary he had averaged over the last two seasons.
Though it took him a while to get to the NHL, when he did, Toews found immediate success. A fourth-round pick in 2014 after his first season at Quinnipiac University, Toews would stay in college for two more years before joining the Islanders organization. In 2016-17 he would burst onto the AHL scene with 45 points in 76 games, racking up the most assists by any rookie and earning himself a place on the All-Rookie team.
Though injuries would limit his sophomore year, Toews would finally make it to the NHL just before Christmas in 2018 and never look back. In his first season with the Islanders he recorded 18 points in 48 games while averaging a little less than 18 minutes a game, but both those numbers ballooned in 2019-20.
Now thrown over the boards for more than 20 minutes a night and given regular powerplay time, Toews racked up 28 points in 68 games and was a monster in almost every possession statistic.
In Colorado, while the powerplay opportunity may disappear thanks to the presence of talented youngsters like Cale Makar and Samuel Girard (not to mention Bowen Byram, who is on the way), he’ll represent a perfect two-way complement that can slide in beside almost anyone. In fact, he seems a capable replacement for Ian Cole, who has quietly been extremely effective since ending up in Colorado, but whose contract expires after the 2020-21 season.