Over the first four days of New York Islanders development camp, former Islanders defenseman and 13-year NHL veteran Johnny Boychuk has been on the ice with prospects. Following Sunday’s skate, the New York Islanders shared with us that the fan favorite has an official job with the organization.
Johnny Boychuk‘s role with the organization will be in player development.
At the NHL Draft, I asked New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello if there was a role for Johhny Boychuk in the organization.
“There certainly is. You know, we just have to convince him. We’ll just have to convince him to go to work.”
Well, he seems to have been convinced.
Because of his current location, living in Edmonton, Alberta, the 38-year-old Boychuk will not be around all the time, but a good portion of the time as he settles into his new role. As for who and where he will be working, there is no more information at this time.
The 2011 Stanley Cup winner with the Boston Bruins had been removed from the NHL game for two years after an eye injury in 2020 forced him to hang up the skates. And although he could not play the game he loved at the NHL level, Johnny Boychuk remained with the team for the shortened 2021 season, joining his teammates for each practice and doing what he could to help head coach Barry Trotz and the rest of the coaching staff.
But in November of 2021, Boychuk’s rights were traded to the Buffalo Sabres in a salary-cap dumping move as an injury. It was made clear that he would not report as his NHL career was over, but given that he was technically under contract with Buffalo, that did impede his ability to remain working with the Islanders, even if it was not an official role.
Boychuk’s contract, a seven-year, $42 million deal, expired at the end of the 2021-22 season.
And now he’s back with New York.
Johnny Boychuk played an integral part in the franchise’s turnaround after he was acquired, along with Nick Leddy, in the summer of 2014. He was a leader on and off the ice and played with a majority of the personnel still on the Islanders roster.
In 404 regular-season games with the Islanders, Boychuk notched 131 points, 782 blocks, and 873 hits. In 25 postseason games for the Islanders, Boychuk collected three assists, with 61 blocks and 92 hits.