Anthony Beauvillier, the Islanders’ last unsigned restricted free agent, has reached an agreement on a two-year extension for a reported $4.2 million.
The “bridge” deal carries a $2.1 million cap hit according to CapFriendly, and gives him a chance to build a case for a long-term extension — and better leverage — if his performance dictates.
Beauvillier had no arbitration rights this time around, so lacked much leverage. He’ll still be a restricted free agent when the contract expires, but more options and more data will be on the table.
His role and numbers in his first three years as a pro have been up and down, but his periodic chemistry with Mathew Barzal makes it a decent bet he’ll continue to build numbers before his next contract negotiation.
One thing that appears clear based on the Islanders’ offseason work: That case will be built as a winger. Though drafted as a center, he’s played very little time there in the NHL. Although Lou Lamoriello implied Beauvillier was a candidate in the pool of possible centers to replace the departed Valtteri Filppula, the signing of Derick Brassard makes that sound like it was more negotiating tactics to signal to Brassard’s agent that the team was prepared to look internally.
Beauvillier’s counting numbers dropped to 28 points and 18 goals last year — he’d put up 21 goals and 36 points the season before — but with the right opportunities, and consistency, he could establish himself as a regular 20-goal scorer.
And if he does that, he’ll look back at a $2.1 million Average Annual Value as his raman noodle days.