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Nolan Patrick signs entry-level contract with Flyers

Three years with the maximum salary plus performance bonuses.

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When a player is drafted by an NHL team, all that team is doing is acquiring the rights to the player. In the case of a player being drafted from the Canadian junior ranks, NHL teams hold those rights for two years after the draft year — meaning that in a worst-case scenario, a guy like Nolan Patrick could hold out until June 1, 2019 and go back into the draft if he really, really hated the idea of being a Flyer.

Of course, that almost never happens (although sometimes it does with NCAA players like Jimmy Vesey, for example) — especially not with top players who have a lot to lose by not signing with the team that drafts them. But it’s always true that, until that first entry-level contract is signed, a drafted player isn’t officially a member of the team.

That happened today with Patrick, however, as the Flyers signed him to his three-year entry-level deal. He’ll earn $925,000 per year in base salary, and as a No. 2 overall pick, the rest will be loaded with bonuses. We’ll have to wait to learn his exact cap hit at the end of the season once those bonus marks are reached or not.

Last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, ultimately wound up with a cap hit of $3.575 million on his entry-level deal after bonuses. Ivan Provorov, the No. 7 pick of the Flyers in 2015, has a cap hit of $1.74 million after bonuses. The cap hit for Nico Hischier, this year’s No. 1 overall pick, can reach as high as $3.775 million if all bonuses are hit.

Here’s the full press release from the Flyers:

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed C Nolan Patrick to an entry-level contract, according to general manager Ron Hextall.

Patrick, 18, was selected by the Flyers in the first round (2nd overall) of last month’s 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-2, 199-lb native of Winnipeg, Manitoba has spent the last three seasons playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, where he served as team captain last season.

In his rookie WHL season of 2014-15, Patrick was a point-per-game player for the Wheat Kings with 56 points (30G, 26A) in 55 games. He posted eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 19 playoff games to help Brandon reach the WHL championship game, and was named the WHL Rookie of the Year.

Patrick helped the Wheat Kings take that last step in 2015-16 when they won their first WHL championship in 20 years. He scored 41 goals and added 61 assists for 102 points in 72 regular season games, and went on to record 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 23 playoff games, earning WHL playoff MVP honors.

Last season, Patrick posted 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points in a season where he was limited by injury to 33 games. In 163 career regular season games for Brandon, Patrick has recorded 92 goals and 113 assists for 205 points, along with 96 PIM and a plus-88 rating. He played the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons alongside current Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov.