Continuing a recent trend, the Colorado Avalanche have agreed to terms with their other top 2010 draft pick, second round selection goaltender Calvin Pickard. Even though Colorado still controlled the draft rights with Pickard until June 2012, they decided to give the young stud goalie a vote of confidence and sign him to a three year contract before it was necessary.
Pickard was recently named to the WHL Western Conference All-Star second team after a spectacular season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He has posted a .916 SV% despite facing 900 more shots than those goalies ranked above him. He’s also posted league highs in games played and time on ice. With the sheer number of shots that Pickard has faced, his numbers are very impressive.
Because he is only 18 years old, Pickard will not be eligible to play in the AHL next season, and will likely have one more season with the WHL Seattle team. If so, his contract is automatically deferred a season, and will start at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
According to capgeek.com, Pickard’s contract will have a cap hit of $843k, whenever it starts. It will include a NHL salary of $790k the first season, and increase to $900k in the final year of the entry level contract.
Unofficial contract details have been released for Colorado Avalanche top forward prospect Joey Hishon, who agreed to the entry level deal with the club on March 14, 2011.
According to capgeek.com, Hishon's deal begins in the 2011-2012 season and extends for three seasons. Like many entry-level contracts, this is a split AHL/NHL contract. Hishon's AHL salary will be $67,500 for the period of time he plays with the AHL Lake Erie Monsters. If Hishon is ever called up to the Colorado Avalanche club, his salary jumps to $900,000 per season. He will also receive a $90,000 signing bonus and an annual $300,000 bonus, giving him a total salary cap hit of $1.2 million for the next three seasons (if on the Avalanche squad).
This number is slightly below the contracts given to prospects taken at similar draft positions, but appears to be desirable enough for both Colorado and Hishon to agree upon.
Hishon will finish this season in the OHL, but will likely get an invite to Colorado's training camp next season before starting the season in AHL Lake Erie. With this contract, Hishon will be eligible for callup next season.
Though details ahve not yet been released, this is a sign of confidence in Hishon, the 19 year old forward who was surprisingly selected 17th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Hishon was seen as a top scoring talent in 2009 before foot injuries sidelined him and his stock dropped. Colorado selected the forward with their first pick after many draft prognosticators viewed Hishon as a projected second round selection.
In his first year of professional hockey, Hishon did not disappoint. He has stayed healthy all season and dominated OHL competition to the tune of 36 goals and 83 points in a mere 46 games while playing with the Owen Sound Attack.
While this contract allows Hishon to officially compete for a spot on the 2011-2012 Avalanche, it's more likely that he will start the season with the AHL Lake Erie Monsters, with the possibility of a mid-season callup later in the year if he excels at that level of the minor leagues. He will finish this season as a member of the playoff-bound Owen Sound Attack.