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03-12-2013, 11:43 AM
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I'm a fan of a rival team, but I saw this thread while browsing and knew what it'd be about.

AFAIK, the option for college players to choose between a current season contract and a future contract exists, but it no longer has any leverage:
One positive for college coaches that may help if only a little is that players can no longer burn a year off of their entry-level contract by signing at the end of their college campaign to get in a few games at the NHL level.

For example, J.T. Brown signed with Tampa Bay after his sophomore season at Minnesota Duluth last year. He appeared in just five games for the Lightning at the end of the last season which counted as a full year on his contract, leaving just one year remaining on his entry-level deal. So he’ll get to restricted free agency a year sooner. That will no longer be the case.

Players may still join NHL teams late, receive signing bonuses and play, but that short stint will not count as a full year on an entry-level contract, according to the summary.

Burning a year was a key incentive for some players, particularly college free agents to leave school quickly after their college season ended to burn that year. Taking that option away could slow that players’ decision process down as the only incentive to get those few games in at the tail end of the season is the money from his signing bonus and the prorated contract. Still not bad, but not nearly as enticing as burning an entire year off an ELC.

In other words, current or future contract, it doesn't matter.
Agents will no longer have leverage to say "current contract or we're not signing", which has been the case with some players such as Frattin.

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