The New York Islanders announced today that forward Michael Grabner has agreed to terms on a five-year contract.
“I’m really happy knowing I’ll be staying here on Long Island, especially after Wednesday’s news of a new arena,” Grabner said. “We have a lot of young, talented players who came together last year and I am thrilled to have the chance to be a part of getting this team back to the playoffs.”
Grabner, 23, led the Islanders as well as all NHL rookies during the 2010-11 regular season with 34 goals, while his 52 points ranked third amongst league rookies and fourth overall on the team. The Villach, Austria, native also led all rookies and finished second in the NHL with six shorthanded goals. He ranked first amongst rookies and tied for second overall with seven shorthanded points.
“Michael showed last season that he is an elite player in this league,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “In addition to providing speed and skill to our offense, he’s worked hard to elevate the defensive side of his game to become an all around player.”
Ten of Grabner’s 34 goals came during a stretch in February that saw him score goals in six consecutive games, matching the NHL’s longest goal-scoring streak of the season. Grabner’s 26 even-strength goals also led all rookies and trailed just seven players overall.
To go along with his goal-scoring prowess, Grabner posted a team-high plus-13 rating in his rookie season and was one of six Islanders to finish with a plus-rating. The two-way forward also recorded fewer penalty minutes (10) than any other Islanders player who appeared in at least 21 games.
At the season’s midway point, Grabner was selected to represent the Islanders at NHL All Star Weekend in Raleigh, NC. He made his mark on the weekend, helping Team Staal earn a victory at the Honda Superskills event by winning the Bridgestone Fastest Skater competition.
Grabner made his NHL debut during the 2009-10 season with the Vancouver Canucks, playing in 20 games and posting 11 points (five goals, six assists). He was traded from Vancouver to the Florida Panthers this offseason, before the Islanders claimed him off of waivers on Oct. 5, 2010. In 96 career NHL games, Grabner has scored 39 goals with 24 assists for 63 points with a plus-15 rating.