The Islanders have kept part of their bottom six group of forwards intact just before free agency officially gets underway. TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reports (Twitter link) that New York has re-signed winger Tom Kuhnhackl to a one-year, $850K contract.
The 27-year-old spent most of last season with the Islanders despite passing through waivers unclaimed at the start of the year. He wound up playing in 36 regular season contests, recording five goals and four assists to beat his output from 2017-18 in nearly half the games. He also saw action in all eight postseason games and finished tied for fifth on the team in assists with three.
The deal represents a small raise for Kuhnhackl, who made $700K in 2018-19. He will likely be in a battle to reprise his role on the fourth line depending on what else GM Lou Lamoriello has in store over the coming days. They already have a dozen forwards under contract that saw regular NHL action last season and still have UFA winger Anders Lee as well as RFA winger Anthony Beauvillier in need of new contracts so it’s far from a guarantee that Kuhnhackl will be able to lock down a spot in training camp.