This signing was no surprise, but Jack Hillen is a bit of an interesting case since he was signed as an undrafted free agent after four years of college, which meant his first contract ($875k + potentially $500k in bonuses) was higher than your average entry-level guy who spent half his rookie season at age 22-23 in the AHL.
More notably, he declined the Islanders' qualifying offer. Undersized but a puck-mover with potential, after last season's 40-game NHL audition you wouldn't picture him in position to ask for a raise ... yet. Can't wait to see how this otherwise un-notable contract is structured. If he managed to get a one-way deal out of the Isles, that would leave them with seven NHL contracts on the blueline. [Update: Yes, and yes. Still, fair deal for Hillen. Funny how a college free agent has more leverage for his first contract than he has when it's time to re-up.]
|2008-09 - NHL Islanders||40||1||5||6||-9||16||0||15:12||28||47||2.1|
|2008-09 - AHL Bridgeport||33||4||17||21||0||31||2||-||-||47||8.5|
For more about his season, we graded him in the Grading the Islanders series earlier this month. While reaching for an obscure pick, I selected him as one of two potential fantasy "breakouts" from the club. (Hey, a developing offensive defenseman has to improve on six points, right?)