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Islanders Sign Top Defenseman Adam Pelech To 8-Year Contract: 'This Is Where I Want To Be'

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Adam Pelech is locked in for the long haul.

The New York Islanders announced Friday that they have re-signed their top-pairing shutdown defenseman to an eight-year contract. The deal reportedly has an average annual value of $5.75 million, or $46 million over the life of the deal, which runs through 2028-29.

"I am thrilled to be a New York Islander for eight more years. The negotiations were smooth. I couldn't be happier with the result," Pelech said after the deal was announced. "I'm looking forward to spending eight more years with this team."

The former third-round pick by the franchise in the 2012 draft is coming off a season in which he tallied 14 points during the regular season. He added another five points during the Islanders' second consecutive run to the Eastern Conference Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Pelech, 26, was second on the team in ice time during the playoffs, marking a streak of three consecutive playoff appearances in which he was second on the team in that category. Pelech said it was important to him to sign a long-term deal after all the team has accomplished over the last couple of seasons.

"Without a doubt, this is where I want to be. I couldn't be happier with the term and I think all of the guys here feel the same way," Pelech said. "They know there is something special going on here and everyone is really excited to be a part of it moving forward."

Since breaking into the league in the 2015-16 season, Pelech has amassed 75 points, including 59 assists, in 303 regular games. His performance during this past season earned him a vote for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to the league's best defenseman.

In the days leading up to Friday's announcement, the Islanders were the only team in the league to not announce a single transaction. It is expected that general manager Lou Lamoriello will reveal more of his moves in the coming days.

New York has reportedly been working to bring back forward Anthony Beauvillier and goalie Ilya Sorokin, who are restricted free agents, plus their key unrestricted free agents, including forwards Kyle Palmieri and Casey Cizikas.

It has also been widely reported that Lamoriello has interest in veteran forward Zach Parise for a bottom-six role, and could be looking to upgrade the team's offense via trade.

The Islanders are also expected to replace defenseman Nick Leddy, who was traded to Detroit prior to the start of free agency.

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