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Tanner Fritz Takes Next Step: NHL contract with Islanders

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A two-year, two-way deal for the undrafted Albertan

New York Rangers v New York Islanders
Puttin’ on the Fritz.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In the flurry of early spring signings, comings and goings, is one of those cooler stories of pro progression: Tanner Fritz, an undrafted Canadian who played four years at NCAA Ohio State, has inked his first NHL contract.

The two-year, two-way deal with the New York Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers marks another step for the Alberta forward. He split 2015-16 between ECHL Missouri and AHL Bridgeport, was retained last summer on an AHL contract, and was in Islanders camp last fall on a pro tryout.

This year he’s stuck with Bridgeport the entire season.

His history at Ohio State -- captain, MVP, leading scorer — and performance this year in Bridgeport profiles like a desirable guy for those AHL emergency callup slots. He’s put up 41 points (22 goals, 19 assists) in 62 games at age 25 to be Bridgeport’s second leading scorer (though Joshua Ho-Sang would probably be above him if not for his NHL callup). Back in 2014 he had a cup of coffee in Chicago Blackhawks camp on an amateur tryout.

So, by no means a major signing. But put him in your Isles callup rolodex for the next two seasons and stop saying, “Wait, not Mitch?”