Mathew Barzal won't be lonely on Long Island for the next near decade.
He'll have more than 73 million friends to keep him company and help make it his own.
Today (Oct. 4), the Coquitlam product signed an eight-year contract extension with the NHL's New York Islanders, reportedly worth an average annual value of $9.15 million.
This inevitably puts the 25-year-old hockey player in a respected position as the face of the historic franchise, which is entering his 50th year at the top level of professional hockey in North America.
The signing also comes nine days before the Isles are set to begin the 2022–23 regular season — Nov. 13 at home against the Florida Panthers.
Barzal is coming off a 59-point performance last year that included 15 goals and 44 assists.
While the numbers are lower in comparison to previous seasons, his total marked the fifth straight year he led or was tied at the top of New York's offensive stats sheet.
Barzal and Islanders failed to make the playoffs last year, but reached to eastern conference final in the two seasons prior, accumulating a total of 31 points in 41 games during that span.
As a result, the centre was called by Canada to play at the 2022 IIHF Men's World Championships.
Barzal brought back a silver from his sixth international appearance after the Canadians lost to host Finland in the final. He left the tournament with six assists and eight points in nine games.
In his five-year professional career, Barzal has compiled 311 points in 362 regular-season games and was named the NHL's rookie of the year from the 2017–18 campaign.
He's also a two-time NHL all-star, and a former member of the Coquitlam Express and Vancouver North East Chiefs.
Barzal was selected by the Islanders 16th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.