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The New York Islanders announced Sunday they agreed to an eight-year extension with Bo Horvat.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the contract will average $8.5 million annually.
The Islanders acquired Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, sending Anthony Beauvillier, center Aatu Raty and a 2023 conditional first-round pick to Vancouver in the swap.
Prior to hammering out a new contract with New York, the 27-year-old was set to be a free agent in the offseason.
Horvat has 31 goals and 23 assists through 49 appearances in 2022-23. His 1.10 points per game are on pace to be a career high, well above his previous best of 0.77, per Hockey Reference.
Given what they traded away for a player on an expiring contract, an extension was the likeliest outcome for the Islanders. Getting the business done now precludes a bidding war in the offseason.
“You make this type of a transaction because you can improve your team today and tomorrow,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters of the trade. “And in my opinion, he makes us a better team and gives us a better opportunity to [do] what we want to do.”
Horvat’s $5.5 million average salary also provided a rough barometer for where a new contract might land as he’s enjoying such a productive year. Whatever team he signed with would have to add a few million to that figure to secure his services.
The Islanders have the flexibility to pay Horvat his market value while maintaining some wiggle room. CapFriendly projects them to be $6.9 million under the salary cap with his contract factored in
New York is two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Horvat could be the difference in the franchise reaching the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
Now, the dynamic forward has plenty of time to make his presence truly felt for the Islanders.