Watkins signs with Islanders

Former UND forward Matt Watkins has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the New York Islanders. Terms were not immediately disclosed.

Watkins made his NHL debut last season for the Phoenix Coyotes, who signed him out of UND in 2009.

Watkins spent most of last season with the Portland Pirates in the AHL, where he was the fourth-leading scorer on the team with 11 goals and 36 points.

The speedy winger from Saskatchewan has the ability to play a checking-forward role in the NHL and will battle for that opportunity. He may start the season with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, but recent struggles by the Islanders may open the door for a shot in the NHL for Watkins.

UND’s Brock Nelson also will be in New York’s system this season, battling for an NHL spot.

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