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Home Sports Sport News Islanders re-sign Aho, retain rights to eight free agents

Islanders re-sign Aho, retain rights to eight free agents

The New York Islanders announced they have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with defenseman Sebastian Aho. Chosen as an AHL all-star for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in each of his three North American seasons, Aho would have been a restricted free agent on Friday.

The team also announced it has retained the rights to eight of its other nine pending restricted free agents. The lone exception was goaltender Linus Soderstrom, who never played for Bridgeport in an injury-plagued 2019-20 season in which he was limited to four ECHL games. Soderstrom, who did not play at all in 2018-19 because of injury, signed in July to play the 2020-21 season in Finland.

Aho, 24, ranks fourth among defensemen in scoring all-time for the Sound Tigers with 105 points in 156 games, 18 points behind Aaron Ness’ lead. He’s the only Bridgeport defenseman ever to score three goals in a game. He also played 22 games for the Islanders in 2017-18, which kept him out of the AHL all-star event that season; he participated in the event the past two years.

The Islanders tendered contract offers to Bridgeport captain Kyle Burroughs as well as defensemen Grant Hutton and Parker Wotherspoon, who played for the Sound Tigers last year, and Mitch Vande Sompel, who likely would have played for them had he not lost the season to injury.

They also tendered forward Josh Ho-Sang, who’d been loaned from Bridgeport to San Antonio shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic cut short the 2019-20 season on March 12.

All three of the Islanders’ NHL free agents received qualifying offers, centerman Mat Barzal and defensemen (and Sound Tigers alumni) Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews. Each played key roles as the Islanders reached the conference final last month for the first time since 1993.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

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