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UNSIGNED DRAFT PICKS, TEAMS GET EXTRA TOOL IN ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

NHL players drafted but not yet signed to entry-level contracts with their respective teams have been given an advantage due to the pandemic shortened 2019-20 season. It applies specifically to players like KHL star goaltender Ilya Sorokin, who the new York Islanders are trying very hard to lure to North America.

According to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, unsigned draft choices like Ilya Sorokin can sign now to burn their entry-level years for 2019-20. They won't be allowed to play in this summer's 24-team playoff format, but can still sign now to burn that year from their ELC. You might be asking yourself why any team would allow a player to rid themselves of one of their cheapest years in the National Hockey League without ever touching the ice. In the case of 24-year-old Sorokin, he'll make quite a bit more in the KHL than he would with an NHL ELC. Allowing him to burn a year now makes it easier to entice him to come to the Islanders as he won't have to wait so long for his next contract and a bigger payday.

Of course, both Sorokin and the Islanders would have to agree to this before it would happen. However, in the case of NYI, it likely won't take much convincing as they want the star goaltender in North America as quickly as possible.



This applies to other international stars as well. Minnesota Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov comes to mind immediately. The 23-year-old has gotten consistently better in his last three seasons with CSKA Moscow , ending 2019-20 with 33 goals and 62 points in 57 games. Another is Alexander Romanov of the Montreal Canadiens, although it appears the 20-year-old has made the decision to come to the NHL next season regardless. However, if extra incentive is needed, the Habs now have it.


TIM TUCKER
JULY 6, 2020  (19H04)
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