The New York Islanders solidified another piece of the foundation they are building Wednesday, signing 23-year-old right wing Kyle Okposo to a five-year, $14 million contract.
Our friends at SB Nation's Islanders website, Lighthouse Hockey, have not fully analyzed the news yet. They have, however, had time to celebrate, saying "this is a great signing ... the rebuild chugs on and takes another awesome step forward."
Okposo could have become a restricted free agent July 1. In 38 games last season he had five goals and 15 assists. He missed the first 44 games of the season with a torn labrum.
"Kyle has been a critical part of our young core over the past few seasons," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "He is a high character guy that brings size and a scoring touch to our lineup."
The Islanders have failed to reach the NHL playoffs in each of the past four seasons, and in five of the past six.