The New York Islanders showed signs of life on Monday morning, announcing the signings of three restricted free agents in defensemen Noah Dobson and Alex Romanov along with forward Kieffer Bellows.
Dobson and Romanov are receiving three-year deals while Bellows agreed to a one-year pact.
Per multiple reports, Romanov’s deal is worth $2.5 million annually where he is expected to slot in alongside Dobson. The 23-year-old was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens at the 2022 NHL Draft, providing an above-average skating defenseman that provides another bit of youth on New York’s blue line.
He recorded 13 points in 79 games while averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time in 2021-22.
Dobson’s contract is roughly $1.5 million more annually than his future partner at $4 million AAV considering his importance as a fixture of New York’s defense for years to come.
The 22-year-old emerged as a star in the making last season, recording 13 goals and 38 assists for 51 points in 80 games. He became just the fourth Islanders defenseman in the last 30 seasons to record 50 or more points in a season and just the sixth blue liner aged 22 or younger to reach that benchmark.
As for Bellows, a deal ensures that he’ll get at least one more shot to try and break into the Islanders’ ranks full-time. The 24-year-old left-winger appeared in a career-high 45 games for an injury and COVID-riddled team, posting six goals and 13 assists while averaging just 11:52 of ice time per game.
The 19th overall pick from the 2016 draft has appeared in just 67 games over three NHL seasons and figures to be a depth option for the team in 2022-23 as the search for a legitimate high-end-scoring winger continues.