The New York Islanders announced on Tuesday that they have signed defenseman Samuel Bolduc to a two-year contract.
According to CapFriendly, the deal is worth $800,000 per season.
The 22-year-old left-handed defenseman made his NHL debut with the Islanders last season, appearing in 17 games amidst a slew of injuries and inabilities to attain any real consistency from a No. 6 blueliner. He recorded two goals and one assist in the regular season before appearing in an additional two Stanley Cup playoff games during New York’s first-round loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
A puck-moving, offensively-capable defender, Bolduc also received chances on the Islanders’ sputtering power play as they searched for a legitimate quarterback for its special-team unit.
“He’s an offensive guy who moves the puck,” Lambert said in March. “I liked what I saw from him on the power-play with the second unit up top… He’s a big guy who, when he uses his size, is pretty steady but I really like him on the power-play and getting pucks through.”
For the time being he is expected to be in the mix for one of the final bottom-pairing spots, but there are numerous unanswered questions that must be addressed before such a notion becomes reality.
Veteran defenseman Scott Mayfield is an unrestricted free agent and he is expected to test the open market. Team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello may also look for exterior options to bolster a defense that regressed in its first year under head coach Lane Lambert.
Regardless, Sebastian Aho will also be vying for one of the final spots on the blue line after appearing in 71 games this season and seemingly earning the trust of team management.