Isles ink pair of restricted free agents
Dal Colle, Ho-Sang sign, Beauvillier still waiting for new deal
New York Islanders team President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello insisted this summer that signing his three restricted free agents would not be an “issue.”
The Hall of Fame executive is two-thirds of the way to living up to that prediction.
On Monday, the Islanders agreed to terms on a two-year NHL contract with forward Michael Dal Colle and inked enigmatic forward Josh Ho-Sang to a one-year, two-way NHL/AHL deal.
That leaves 22-year-old winger Anthony Beauvillier as the lone, and most significant, RFA that remains unsigned by the Brooklyn/Long Island-based franchise.
Beauvillier scored 18 goals and picked up 10 assists during the 2018-19 campaign, helping New York reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for just the second time since 1993.
The Quebec native was also one of only seven players on the team to participate in at least 80 games last year.
A first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Beauvillier could be in position to become New York’s third-line center this coming season once he signs.
Dal Colle skated in 28 games for the Isles last season after spending most of the season with the team’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The 23-year-old former fifth overall pick (2014) picked up his first career NHL points during New York’s memorable turnaround season, scoring three goals and adding seven assists.
Ho-Sang, once thought of as an up-and-coming star in the Isles’ system, agreed to return in 2019-20, albeit on a two-way deal that only pays him an NHL salary when he is with the Isles.
Selected 28th overall in 2014, Ho-Sang has bounced up and down between Bridgeport and New York throughout his tenure in the organization and only managed one goal and one assist in 10 games with the Isles last season.
Ho-Sang did play well at Bridgeport last season, amassing eight goals and 35 assists in 56 games with the Sound Tigers.
The eventual signing of Beauvillier will cap an eventful, yet somewhat disappointing offseason for Lamoriello, who brought back team captain Anders Lee and forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle.
But the Isles were unable to lure free-agent forward Antemi Panarin to the Barclays Center, instead watching as the archrival New York Rangers inked one of the top available players.
Lamoriello also saw Vezina finalist goaltender Robin Lehner leave New York after a career year, but answered by signing veteran netminder Sergei Varlamov in July.
Veteran forward Tom Kuhnhackl, Arnaud Durandeau and Tanner Fritz were also signed earlier this summer as the Isles hope to build off a 103-point campaign that was highlighted by a first-round sweep of Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
In other local pro sports news, the Cyclones remained red-hot entering their annual All-Star break with Monday night’s 5-0 blanking of Tri-City in front of 3,581 fans at Coney Island’s MCU Park.
Nathan Jones, Corey Gaconi (4-1), Hunter Parsons and Josh Hejka combined on the five-hit shutout, and Gavin Garay and Jose Mena homered for the Cyclones, who pulled within a half-game of Hudson Valley for the top spot in the McNamara Division standings.
Mena finished three for four with three RBIs for Brooklyn, which has won four in a row.
The Cyclones will send five players and their coaching staff to represent the Blue Team at Tuesday night’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game in Staten Island.
Second baseman Wilmer Reyes, first baseman Joe Genord and right-handed pitchers Garrison Bryant, Mitch Ragan and Matt Cleveland will all represent Brooklyn across the Verrazzano.
Third-year Baby Bums manager Edgardo Alfonzo will be joined in the Blue dugout by hitting coach Delwyn Young, pitching coach Josue Matos and athletic trainer Vanessa Weisbach.
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