Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Draft Class Signings (Aug 12)

We can now confirm that the 7th overall pick is now under contract, as the Carolina Hurricanes agreed to terms with defenseman Haydn Fleury on Thursday last week, likely nailing him down to the rookie maximum salary, plus bonuses, for the next three-plus years.  Fleury was ranked quite high by a number of outlets and there is belief out there that he could be a top end defender in the NHL, given that his size and skating are above-average.  I don't think there will be any rush to get Fleury into the NHL, especially since defensemen have less success with their development at a young age, minus a few exceptions, of course.  It would have to take a massive camp for him to make that push and since the Hurricanes already have seven NHL-ready defensemen on my projected roster, the odds of that push being big enough seem long.

On Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers came to terms with the 3rd overall pick, German centre Leon Draisaitl, signing him to the rookie maximum of three years, $925,000 each year, plus bonuses that would work against the cap at the end of the season.  Draisaitl was one of the big four players that could have gone 1st overall in the draft, as his big size and hockey sense were huge factors in why he ended up so high.  There is some belief that the move of Sam Gagner out of Edmonton was going to help facilitate Draisaitl's immediate leap into the NHL and put him into a position where he could succeed as a teenager.  The Oilers are saving some room on their projected roster for some young talent, so it will be a great training camp to see who makes the club.

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