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[Question] When Players Are Drafted


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Hey guys, not sure if this is the right forum for this but I got a quick question.

How long can a team keep the rights of a draft pick before signing them to an entry level contract?

Scenario: We draft Jensen but decide not to sign him yet, how long do we have until we no longer have his rights?


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A player not signed by his NHL team within two years of being drafted can re-enter the draft, as long as he is 20 years old or younger at the time of the subsequent draft. Players over 20 become unrestricted free agents.

NCAA players are an exception: NHL teams retain the rights to a college player until 30 days after the player has left college.

A team that does not sign a first-round draft pick is awarded a compensatory pick in a future draft upon losing the rights to that player.


European Players - Prior to 2005, NHL teams retained the rights to a European player until that player turned 31. Drafted Europeans must now be signed within two years, the same as North Americans, or the team loses the rights to the player

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Here's what I found:

(d) If, on or before June 1 of the calendar year next

succeeding the draft, the claiming Club makes a Bona Fide Offer

(as defined below) to its claimed player of a contract, the Club

shall retain the exclusive right of negotiation for the services

of such player up to and including the second June 1 following

the date of his selection.

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