In a long list of ongoing RFA negotiations around the NHL, the New York Islanders settled theirs, re-signing forward Anthony Beauvillier to a two-year deal worth a $2.1M AAV per season.
The contract was pretty similar to a prediction I did in July. It was predictable, yet fair for both sides. I expected it to probably be a three-year deal rather than two years but the money was pretty similar. Two years gives Beauvillier the time to take his game to the next level but neither side is committing to anything substantial. This was never going to be a long-term deal that walks Beauvillier to free agency, simply because the number would need to be low enough that the Islanders would be willing to risk giving term out and from Beauvillier’s perspective, it makes way more sense to bet on himself being more productive over the next two years.
As he develops more and gets a larger role, he’s only going to increase his production, so there’s no sense in him not going short-term here. Especially considering he’s likely to play a top-six role next season, he should be able to put up more than 28 points. It’s not unreasonable to think Beauvillier could be a 30-goal and 50-point player by the time this deal expires in 2021.
For the Islanders, Beauvillier is a key piece based on his age. The Islanders have an offensive core made up of several key forwards in their late 20s, meaning Beauvillier, along with Mathew Barzal, will be major pieces when New York starts transitioning to a younger team. Should Beauvillier become the goal scoring winger he was projected to be, the Islanders are going to be paying a lot more in a couple of years. If New York decided to go an unexpected route and go long-term on Beauvillier, similar to Vegas’ contract for Alex Tuch, this wouldn’t be the year to try and negotiate a long-term deal for an RFA anyways.
All in all, this is a fair deal and it's nice to just have it in the rear-view mirror. Beauvillier gets a chance to prove himself and the Islanders aren’t locked in for a long-term deal just yet.