Islanders sign Notre Dame's Anders Lee to two-year deal

Notre Dame's Anders Lee tries to keep the Notre Dame's Anders Lee tries to keep the puck from Brady Lamb of Minnesota Duluth during the semifinals of the NCAA Men's Frozen Four at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (April 7, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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NEWARK -- Anders Lee is an Islander.

Some fans and observers thought those words might never be written. Lee, a forward who was the team's sixth-round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, would have become a free agent had the Islanders not signed him by this year's draft in June.

But the Notre Dame captain signed a two-year entry-level deal Monday and was on the ice at the Prudential Center Monday morning with the Islanders.

"The whole thing, it's a process,'' Lee said. He did not play in Monday night's game against the Devils but will take a physical Tuesday morning and might suit up against the Jets Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

"This is a dream come true,'' he said.

The 6-3, 220-pounder had 20 goals and 18 assists this season and led the Irish to the NCAA Tournament, but Notre Dame lost to St. Cloud State, 5-1, on Saturday in the opening round.

From there, Islanders general manager Garth Snow made it a priority to get Lee signed and with the club. Ryan Strome, the Isles' 2011 first-round pick, had his junior season end Friday, and Strome reported to Bridgeport Monday.

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Lee and Strome will "burn'' the first year of their entry-level deals only if they play in six or more NHL games, including playoffs. The Islanders have 12 regular-season games left, so Strome certainly could come up to the Islanders as well.

Rosters expand after Wednesday's trade deadline, when the Isles can carry as many extra players as they want.

For now, Lee is here to try to help the team get into the postseason.

"He's going to play,'' coach Jack Capuano said. "We don't want him thinking too much. We want him to go and do what he's been doing with Notre Dame. He's a guy who adds a lot.''

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