None of these is a surprise, and issuing a qualifying offer retains their rights while player and team can begin (or continue) negotiating contract extensions. In the expansion draft, the Islanders Pelech, who was a surprise there, until the Isles’ pre-draft deal with the Vegas Knights became clear.
By process of elimination, this qualifying list means a few others will be allowed to walk, as failing to qualify them means giving up exclusive rights to them:
Just catching up, believe #Isles did not make qualifying offers to D Loic Leduc, D Jesse Graham, D Matt Finn and G Stephon Williams.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 26, 2017
Finn (and Gibson) was acquired in the large package of minor leaguers brought back in the Michael Grabner salary dump with the Leafs. Leduc, Graham and Williams are Islanders draft picks.
Like Pelech, Graham and Leduc were part of the 2012 “GIVE ME ALL THE DEFENSEMEN” draft, where the Islanders took blueliners with all seven picks. They at least earned entry level contracts, but it’s no surprise Graham and Leduc, who each split time in the ECHL and AHL over the first part of their pro careers, will be allowed to walk now that those ELCs are expired.