The New York Islanders announced Tuesday afternoon they have signed Nick Leddy to a seven-year extension worth a reported $38.5 million that will pay the defenseman $5.5 million per season.
Leddy, 23, is in his first season with the Islanders after being acquired by the team in October in exchange for defenseman T.J. Brennan, blueline prospect Ville Pokka and restricted free-agent netminder Anders Nilsson. In 61 games with the Islanders, Leddy has tallied eight goals and 25 points.
“Nick has proven to be an elite defenseman in this league at a young age,” Islanders GM Garth Snow said in a release from the team. “He’s the type of player on the ice, in the locker room and in the community that we’re thrilled to add as a cornerstone of our defensive core.”
The signing is a big one for the Islanders as they lock up one of the big pieces they acquired in the off-season at a pretty reasonable cap hit. Leddy is still growing as a defenseman, too, and the signing shows the Islanders have confidence in the five-year veteran.
Over his NHL career, Leddy has been lauded for his incredible skating ability and knack for being able to move the puck out of trouble with relative ease. A salary cap casualty in Chicago, he has flourished this season in New York while playing alongside the Islanders other major acquisition, Johnny Boychuk.
Together the pairing has been one of the NHL’s best at driving possession and has an on-ice 5-on-5 goals for percentage of over 60 percent.
“We have something special in this locker room and I’m excited to be a part of it for seven more years,” Leddy said. “From the start of my time here, the Islanders have been a first-class organization. I’m honored by their commitment to me and look forward to challenging for the Stanley Cup for years to come.”
Leddy helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013, scoring two points in 23 games and average more than 14 minutes of ice time per game. During last season’s run with Chicago, Leddy tallied a goal and five points in 18 games while skating nearly 16 minutes per outing.
He was drafted 16th overall in 2009 by the Minnesota Wild, is a former Mr. Hockey Award winner as the best high school player in Minnesota and was named University of Minnesota’s rookie of the year in his one season with the team.