As announced by the team this morning, the New York Islanders have signed defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Paul LaDue to two-year, two-way contracts, forward Arnaud Durandeau to a two-year, two-way contract, and forward Hudson Fasching to a one-year, two-way contract.
PuckPedia reports Cholowski’s contract carries a $762.5K cap hit, paying him $750K NHL / $200K AHL / $225K guaranteed in 2022-23 and $775K at all levels in 2023-24.
Cholowski, now 24, hasn’t been able to consistently stay in the NHL after the Detroit Red Wings drafted him 20th overall in 2016. He did show a fair amount of promise in his rookie season, 2018-19, when he scored seven goals, nine assists, and 16 points in 52 games while playing 18:15 per game. Those offensive and games played numbers still remain career-highs for Cholowski, though, who now joins his fourth NHL organization already after splitting the 2021-22 campaign between the Seattle Kraken and Washington Capitals. Cholowski does fill a desperate need for the Islanders, though — having more than seven NHL-capable defense options within the organization. Cholowski will fight for a roster spot along with Robin Salo and Sebastian Aho, with both Cholowski and Aho requiring waivers for assignment to the AHL. He had three assists in 11 NHL games last season.
LaDue will head back to the Bridgeport Islanders for a second consecutive season. While he was a regular NHL player with the Los Angeles Kings not too long ago, he’s played just three NHL games combined over the past three seasons and that figure likely won’t change much unless injuries strike New York’s defense again. The 29-year-old North Dakota product had 12 points in 60 games with Bridgeport last season.
Durandeau, 23, was a restricted free agent, leaving just Parker Wotherspoon on the Islanders’ list of unsigned RFAs heading into next season. The Montreal-born left wing is entering his fourth professional season. Durandeau enjoyed somewhat of a breakout year last season in Bridgeport, setting AHL career highs in games played (64), goals (15), assists (22), and points (37).
Fasching, like Cholowski, is brand-new to the Islanders organization. A 27-year-old minor-league veteran, Fasching is a reliable AHL middle-six presence with limited NHL experience. He did suit up for 11 games with the Arizona Coyotes in 2021-22, his most in a single NHL season, but failed to record a point. He’d spent the past four years in the Coyotes organization, mainly with the Tucson Roadrunners.