Jul 5, 2013, 4:05 PM EST
The New York Islanders have locked up a key young member of their blueline, agreeing to a mammoth seven-year, $27 million deal with defenseman Travis Hamonic.
While the guaranteed money and term might seem overboard for someone that’s not a household name, the deal could be financially solid for the Isles.
Hamonic’s new contract has a $3.85 million average annual cap hit, which will be a bargain if he continues to progress like he has.
Despite being just 22 years old, Hamonic has already played in 183 regular season contests, emerging as one of New York’s top defensemen.
He’s averaged over 21 minutes per night right from his rookie campaign (up to 22:48 TOI last year) and led all Isles blueliners in hits this season.
He’s a 20-25 points-per-season producer that became an absolute workhorse in his first-ever postseason appearance this spring.
In six games against Pittsburgh he averaged 25 minutes a night, leading the Isles in average postseason TOI.
The deal is quite similar to the one Roman Josi received in Nashville — seven years, $28 million — and we could see more of these, as teams look to lock up their young defensemen well before they hit free agency.
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