The New York Islanders have come to an agreement with another restricted free agent and will sign Anthony Beauvillier to a two-year contract. PuckPedia reports (via Arthur Staple of The Athletic) that the deal will carry an average annual value of $2.1MM.
Beauvillier was the final RFA on the board for the Islanders, who now have their full roster under contract and ready to start training camp next month. The team is expected to have quite the competition for roster spots after adding a player like Derick Brassard recently, leaving them with too many forwards to ice each night. Beauvillier won’t be one of those fighting for a spot however after suiting up 81 times last season under head coach Barry Trotz and scoring 18 goals. Though he’s not a dominant offensive presence, Beauvillier fit into Trotz’ defensive scheme nicely and provided some secondary scoring without hurting the team in his own end. In fact, the 22-year old forward only took four minor penalties all season and posted strong possession numbers suggesting he could be even more valuable to the team if given a bigger role.
Selected 28th overall in 2015, Beauvillier has had a nice start to his career and should be considered a building block for the Islanders moving forward. The team wants to compete now and have shown that desire recently with the re-signings of Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle, but it will be the continued development of players like Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal that will have the biggest impact on whether the team can become an elite contender in the Eastern Conference.
Given how the team has brought back several of their veteran forwards and added a name like Brassard on a one-year deal, it will be up to Beauvillier to continue to force his way into offensive situations this season. He wasn’t always used heavily on the powerplay in 2018-19 and may have to fight Brassard and perhaps even Joshua Ho-Sang for that opportunity if both are on the roster. At the very least he will be a valuable player at even-strength that can move up and down the lineup to complement some of the other top scorers.
The Islanders had more than $7MM in cap space before signing Beauvillier, meaning they have more than enough room to make another addition if necessary. They will also likely be big players at the trade deadline this season as long as things go well in the first half.