A day after salary cap concerns forced them into trading one of their top defensemen, the Islanders announced the signings of two players for organizational depth on Tuesday.
The Islanders re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Grant Hutton, 25, to a two-year, two-way deal and signed unrestricted free-agent forward Austin Czarnik to a two-year deal that is a two-way contract in the first season and a one-way deal worth $750,000 in 2021-22.
Also, the Islanders have reportedly re-signed RFA Mitch Vande Sompel, 23, and a third-round pick in 2015, to a two-year, two-way deal after the defenseman missed last season for the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with a shoulder injury. Vande Sompel had resumed skating on his own when the season was paused in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is expected to be ready whenever training camp opens.
On Monday, the Islanders traded top-four defenseman Devon Toews, a restricted free agent who had filed for salary arbitration, to the Colorado Avalanche for second-round picks in 2021 and 2022.
The 5-9, 170-pound Czarnik, 27, has 13 goals and 25 assists in 121 career NHL games with the Bruins and the Flames, including two goals and an assist in eight games for the Flames last season. He will be eligible for the expansion draft before the Seattle Kraken join the NHL for the 2021-22 season.
The 6-3, 209-pound Hutton, 25, had six goals and 15 assists in 55 games for Bridgeport last season after playing four seasons of college hockey at Miami (Ohio).
Notes & quotes: Hearing dates were set for the two Islanders’ RFAs who elected to file for arbitration. Top-pair defenseman Ryan Pulock, who was extended a qualifying offer at 100% of his $2.65 million base salary from last season, will have his arbitration hearing on Nov. 6. Mercurial minor-league right wing Josh Ho-Sang will have his case heard on Oct. 30 after being qualified at 105% of his $874,125 base salary. The sides can continue negotiating until those dates. But Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello expressed surprise on Monday that Ho-Sang elected arbitration and cast doubt on the former first-rounder’s future in the organization.