Nick Leddy signed a seven-year contract with the New York Islanders, the team announced Tuesday.
Leddy, a 23-year-old defenseman, could have become a restricted free agent in July. The Islanders did not reveal terms of the contract; Leddy's agent, Neil Sheehy, said the contract is worth $38.5 million, so it will cost $5.5 million per season against the salary cap and run through 2021-22.
"Nick has proven to be an elite defenseman in this League at a young age," Islanders general manager Garth Snow
said in a statement. "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."
Leddy joined the Islanders in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks just before the regular season began and has been one of the breakout performers in the NHL in 2014-15. He has eight goals and 25 points in 61 games player, while averaging 20:11 of ice per game.
Paired with another trade acquisition, Johnny Boychuk, for much of the season, Leddy is second on the Islanders to Boychuk in shot-attempts percentage (SAT%) at even strength at 56.55 percent. Among defensemen with at least 30 games played, Leddy is sixth in the NHL in SAT%.
Leddy played every regular-season game in the previous three seasons for the Blackhawks but typically was deployed on the third paring when everyone was healthy in 2013-14. His average ice time per game decreased each of the past two seasons before joining the Islanders in an Oct. 4 trade for defensemen Ville Pokka and T.J. Brennan and the rights to restricted free agent Andres Nilsson, who is playing in the Kontinental Hockey League this season.
A first-round pick (No. 16) in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild, Leddy went to the Blackhawks in a trade with defenseman Kim Johnsson for defenseman Cam Barker on Feb. 12, 2010.
Leddy has 28 goals and 118 points in 319 NHL games. He has appeared in 54 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including 41 in the past two seasons for the Blackhawks.