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marka

NHL Draft, why so early?

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Howdy,

So, as someone pretty new to hockey, I was curious how the NHL draft works / why it works that way... Is there a good primer on it online somewhere?  I've searched, but most everything I've found seems to assume you already know how it all works... :-)

 

My understanding is that at the draft, an NHL team is given exclusive bargaining rights to a player that they draft, right?  Does that mean that player isn't eligible to play for another NHL team, full stop?  Or is it like restricted free agency where they can, but the drafting team gets some type of compensation from the league?

Related, it seems like players are often drafted long before they actually are expected to play in the NHL or even AHL/ECHL...  Seems like you kids get drafted and then go play in D1 college or the CHL or whatever for a few years, then (maybe?) get a contract with the drafting team?  Is that right?  How come it works that way?  I'd have expected that being drafted would be shortly followed by a contract, and then playing somewhere in the organization at the NHL/AHL/ECHL level as appropriate?

What's this about college free agents everyone is talking about?  Is that a college player that was drafted, but then never signed to a contract after some amount of time?

 

Anyway, appreciate the "101 level" course on the NHL draft system if someone wants to type it up or point me to where its explained.  Thanks!

Mark

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1 hour ago, marka said:

Howdy,

So, as someone pretty new to hockey, I was curious how the NHL draft works / why it works that way... Is there a good primer on it online somewhere?  I've searched, but most everything I've found seems to assume you already know how it all works... :-)

 

My understanding is that at the draft, an NHL team is given exclusive bargaining rights to a player that they draft, right?  Does that mean that player isn't eligible to play for another NHL team, full stop?  Or is it like restricted free agency where they can, but the drafting team gets some type of compensation from the league?

Related, it seems like players are often drafted long before they actually are expected to play in the NHL or even AHL/ECHL...  Seems like you kids get drafted and then go play in D1 college or the CHL or whatever for a few years, then (maybe?) get a contract with the drafting team?  Is that right?  How come it works that way?  I'd have expected that being drafted would be shortly followed by a contract, and then playing somewhere in the organization at the NHL/AHL/ECHL level as appropriate?

What's this about college free agents everyone is talking about?  Is that a college player that was drafted, but then never signed to a contract after some amount of time?

 

Anyway, appreciate the "101 level" course on the NHL draft system if someone wants to type it up or point me to where its explained.  Thanks!

Mark

Some basics,

1) Yes, a drafted player has exclusive rights (and vice versa) to the team that drafted them. Once that happens, other teams cannot officially talk to the player at all unless given permission. The player drafted may not play for another team, full stop, unless the drafting team trades his rights.

2) I am not sure of the specific reasons why the draft age is 18. I'm guessing this is in part a holdover from the days when juniors fed more directly into the pro leagues and europeans were not as much of a consideration. What I do know, is that every few years, they look at raising the age to 19 and it never happens, mostly for legal reasons. 

3) The college free agents fall into two distinct classes - those who were drafted, and those not. Players who were never drafted, become Unrestricted free agents (in they eyes of the NHL) once they are 20 years old and have been undrafted for two years. When these players' seasons are over (typically after their junior year), and if they've had a good year, they're free to sign with any NHL team once their NCAA season ends. This is generally in March. The other type of player is drafted when they are 18 years old, and play hockey in college for 4 years. There is a provision in the CBA that states that if the player is not signed by the drafting team after 4 years, that player becomes a free agent after August 15. This has happened a few times in the past few years, Kerfoot this year, Vesey last year, Kevin Hayes, Justin Schultz. On one hand it kind of sucks for the team that drafted them to lose them for nothing, on the other hand, they've had 4 years of exclusive negotiating rights to lure the player away from school.

I've simplified most of my answers here, there's a lot more information in the CBA but that's the gist of it.

 

 

 

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Howdy,

Thanks!

So what are the benefits to the player for being drafted, then continuing to play in college without actually being signed?  Do they get money?  Development support of some type?  Something else?

Or is it that an 18 year old cannot just be signed to a team unless they go through the draft process, and must wait until they're 20?

I've heard mention that you can become a free agent sooner if you're in the CHL... does the exclusive time run out quicker than 4 years if you're not in college?

Mark

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On 8/24/2017 at 4:52 PM, marka said:

Howdy,

Thanks!

So what are the benefits to the player for being drafted, then continuing to play in college without actually being signed?  Do they get money?  Development support of some type?  Something else?

Or is it that an 18 year old cannot just be signed to a team unless they go through the draft process, and must wait until they're 20?

I've heard mention that you can become a free agent sooner if you're in the CHL... does the exclusive time run out quicker than 4 years if you're not in college?

Mark

I don't think drafted players who play college hockey get money, if anything I think its against school rules to accept money.

I think kids who get drafted go to college hockey for a couple of reasons, they are usually not good enough to play professional hockey (AHL hockey or higher) at the time. So going to college may allow you to grow and develop at your own pace.  Also, some kids really want to have a school/degree/diploma.

Either way, its a crapshoot, if you look at the results of the NHL draft over the years most of them don't make it to the NHL.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2011e.html

I think I heard in the media that Tyler Bozak is the productive undrafted player from college hockey.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=83925

Edited by fastmiele

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1 hour ago, fastmiele said:

I don't think drafted players who play college hockey get money, if anything I think its against school rules to accept money.

Correct.  Any money would make them ineligible.  Furthermore, the NCAA kids that are attending a development camp have to pay their own way through the entire thing.  They have to be very careful about everything going on to be able to keep eligibility.

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Howdy,

9 hours ago, gerbe3:16 said:

Correct.  Any money would make them ineligible.  Furthermore, the NCAA kids that are attending a development camp have to pay their own way through the entire thing.  They have to be very careful about everything going on to be able to keep eligibility.

Wow.  So what's the point of a college kid getting drafted then?  It seems like it would just restrict them, vs. helping them?

Or do the kids not have to declare themselves to be in the draft or something?

Mark

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28 minutes ago, marka said:

Howdy,

Wow.  So what's the point of a college kid getting drafted then?  It seems like it would just restrict them, vs. helping them?

Or do the kids not have to declare themselves to be in the draft or something?

Mark

 

Draft is based on age (not necessarily your actual age, it has to do with "draft age" which is a way of standardizing player ages). Few players are actually drafted out of college, a handful each year, usually because they have late birthdays. Some are drafted out of high school.  Again it depends on "draft age" and depending on actual birth date, a player may or may not be in college already when they become draft eligible.

I believe an 18 year old has to declare for the draft, however 19 year olds are automatically eligible.

As for the college kid getting drafted - the team wants the best player/best fit it can find at its draft spot. If it's a college kid, they'll weigh the restrictions as part of the draft process. Or maybe they're confident they can get the kid to leave school and sign a contract. For the kid, they also need to weigh some pros and cons. Underclassmen that go to college generally get smaller roles/less ice time than the upperclassmen, unless they are elite level talents. What this means is less exposure for the first couple of years, and a slower development curve. However this can be better for some players - just depends on the player. Also if there's any question they may not realistically become a pro, they can at least play hockey at a high level and get a free education. Lastly, college hockey is awesome.

These are not all the factors weighed but are at least some of them.

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5 hours ago, marka said:

Howdy,

Wow.  So what's the point of a college kid getting drafted then?  It seems like it would just restrict them, vs. helping them?

Or do the kids not have to declare themselves to be in the draft or something?

Mark

A college kid getting drafted allows them to attend the NHL team's development camps and rookie camps (so long as they abide by the compensation rules) so that they can gauge where they stand with other prospects and learn what it takes to become a pro. The NHL team will give the guys workout and diet recommendations and will also give the player areas of their game to focus on in order to continue their development.

 

The draft for the most part is about projecting 3-4-5 years down the road. It is a very small percentage of any draft class that jump straight to the NHL in their draft year.

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22 hours ago, gerbe3:16 said:

Correct.  Any money would make them ineligible.  Furthermore, the NCAA kids that are attending a development camp have to pay their own way through the entire thing.  They have to be very careful about everything going on to be able to keep eligibility.

they have to pay their own way ? I thought it would of been free. So they have to pay for transportation and lodging ?

And how about junior hockey draft picks like OHL, WHL and QMJHL ? Those draft picks have to pay their own way ?

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23 hours ago, fastmiele said:

they have to pay their own way ? I thought it would of been free. So they have to pay for transportation and lodging ?

And how about junior hockey draft picks like OHL, WHL and QMJHL ? Those draft picks have to pay their own way ?

Yup. I mean, they can accept things from NHL teams but it would ruin their NCAA eligibility.

The OHL and other kids don't have to worry about breaking NCAA rules because they aren't in the NCAA! 

Edited by gerbe3:16

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1 hour ago, gerbe3:16 said:

Yup. I mean, they can accept things from NHL teams but it would ruin their NCAA eligibility.

The OHL and other kids don't have to worry about breaking NCAA rules because they aren't in the NCAA! 

that's rough, I would think its okay to accept transportation and lodging for a development camp. Its a short event and there is no cash involved.

Regarding NHL draft picks playing in the OHL, etc. What I meant is do they have to pay their own way for a development camp ? The player doesn't sign with the club and decides to play in the OHL for the year. For him to go to development camp, does he pay for himself ? I don't think the OHL team would cover the costs.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, fastmiele said:

that's rough, I would think its okay to accept transportation and lodging for a development camp. Its a short event and there is no cash involved.

Regarding NHL draft picks playing in the OHL, etc. What I meant is do they have to pay their own way for a development camp ? The player doesn't sign with the club and decides to play in the OHL for the year. For him to go to development camp, does he pay for himself ? I don't think the OHL team would cover the costs.

 

 

 

From what I understand the NHL club will pay, the NHL team owns that players rights as discussed above. The only reason NCAA guys have to pay is cause it's a violation if they accept the money for travel and lodging. My question is when the team gives the NCAA guys equipment to use is that considered a benefit? 

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