Anders Nilsson had made clear it's NHL or Europe for the restricted agent goaltender.
Nothing new there with many NHL Islander/Bridgeport prospects giving the AHL a few years at low salary before going home or to a league with better talent/pay than the AHL on a two-way contract.
What is new and what makes this a problem is to qualify Nilsson or give him a one-way deal means you are qualifying a max ELC to retain the rights same as you would have done with Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome.
Nilsson was paid as a top draft pick., you qualify that deal, and play him in the NHL, his raise is based upon his ELC which in this case was max money in 2011.
Nilsson's agent in 2011 sent out a twitter update that this was the lowest draft pick in the former CBA from 2005-2012 to get a max ELC.
That's what makes this different from Mark Katic, Rhett Rakhshani, qualifed David Ullstrom or perhaps even Mikko Koskinen, who's status is considered not qualified by the Ct Post, but still listed as a prospect on the Islanders website.
For now Nilsson needs a qualifying offer to retain his NHL rights regardless if he plays in North America, that will likely happen because it costs nothing to retain his rights.
Nilsson for his late season look in the NHL got paid top draft pick money.