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Old 12-26-2016, 08:32 AM   #1
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Default Question on undrafted prospects

Have been brushing up on undrafted players from the 2016 draft and saw that a couple of players were signed after being undrafted in their first year of eligibility (Colby Sissons and Ondrej Vala). Both are 18 years old and I thought they would have to go into the draft considering their age. However, if a player can be signed after going through one draft, why aren't more players signed this way? It's like gettin a bonus 7th round pick.

Any clarification would be welcomed.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:37 AM   #2
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Undrafted juniors can only be signed between the draft and the beginning of the regular season in their respective leagues. It means the window for evaluation and signing for teams is extremely small, and it's riskier to sign somebody that went through the draft right away rather than drafting them and having a couple years to decide if you want to use up a contract on them.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #3
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Drafting a player costs nothing more than the draft pick. Giving a player a contract ties up one of your 50 contract spots for three years. Contracts also cost money.

The later a player is drafted, the lower his chances are of ever turning pro. Now, you're talking about giving a guaranteed contract to a player who wasn't even good enough to be a 7th round pick a couple of months earlier.

You have to be really confident that this player is going to develop into something worthwhile to tie up a contract spot for 3 years (which is actually probably 5 years if he goes back to junior for another 2). Teams just aren't willing to take that risk on a player who will likely be available in the late rounds of the draft the next year anyway.

The Kings took the gamble with Martin Jones, and he went on to take the Hitmen to the Memorial Cup the following season. That time it paid off (although, he's no longer a King).

The Oilers tried to sign Vladimir Tkachev two years ago, but the NHL blocked it because he had played a few games in Russia the prior season before coming to the QMJHL. The NHL saved the Oilers in that situation (ain't that the story of the last decade?) and Tkachev is now playing in the KHL.

The Flames did this with Nick Schneider last year, and the jury is still out on whether or not it was a smart move. They're going to have to find somewhere for him to play next season with McDonald and McCollum under contract and Gillies and Rittich as pending RFAs (which means they'll likely be re-signed).
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Old 12-26-2016, 12:44 PM   #4
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Tkachev might not have been a terrible signing in the long run. 32 points in 39 khl games as a 21 year old is nothing to sneeze at really.

If he keeps going like that he'll be a highly sought after player soon like panarin was.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:02 AM   #5
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Tkachev started the year on fire with 12 points in the first 6 games or so, so he'd have had 20 in the next 33 and I think he's still under 150 lbs. I'd say he's still a pretty long shot.
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