This is Greg Chase (No. 36 in photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) during a mid-April regular season game with the Oklahoma City Barons. Chase signed a contract with the Oilers today, a three-year deal that (apparently) has some things one doesn’t ordinarily see in a seventh-round deal (source ahead).
Now this is news. The NHL’s signing grid is sensitive to what round a player is taken, and if a depth pick scores well after the draft it can cause problems. Oilers fans will remember the famous year that Matthew Lombardi and Jarrett Stoll refused to sign with their drafting teams, and ended up at opposite ends of the BOA.
In the case of Greg Chase, we can probably estimate fairly closely just how much his big season after draft cost the Oilers.
FRANS TUOHIMAA ENTRY LEVEL DEAL
This is via capgeek, and Tuohimaa (7th round pick in 2011) gets $95,000 in bonus dollars and a solid AHL salary (which is important because the NHL numbers are unlikely to be cashed) of below $70,000 dollars. Tuohimaa was signed on April 25, 2013 and the Oilers could have passed on him and chosen someone else (perhaps Samu Perhonen). It’s probable that, despite wanting Tuohimaa, there might have been some indifference in negotiating (indifference toward the outcome of the deal is vital in negotiating. Seriously).
The Oilers were clearly more interested in getting the deal done with Chase, Rishaug’s tweet tells us that much. What WILL the Greg Chase contract look like? Somewhere in this range, would be my guess.
BOGDAN YAKIMOV ENTRY LEVEL DEAL
Now, there’s a lot of guesswork here, and when we see the numbers Edmonton may have been able to sign Chase for $70,000 AHL per year and a $95,000 signing bonus (the Tuohimaa deal). It’s also possible—I would argue likely—that Chase landed a much better deal, perhaps closer to Bogdan Yakimov’s contract.
He earned it. In the fall Top 20 I posted at Oilers Nation not long ago, I have Chase just behind Yakimov on my list (No.6) and he’s probably the third best forward prospect in the system.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
(Corey Pronman’s draft ranking for 2013, and scouting report via Hockey Prospectus)
Greg Chase was drafted No. 188 overall and has been punishing 29 NHL teams since that day. Chase and the Edmonton Oilers made a good deal for both sides today, and the young man should be on top of the world. Money isn’t everything, but in a real way it’s how we keep score. Greg Chase outkicked his draft number by miles and miles. Whatever the evaluation process NHL teams embarked on that concluded Chase was a seventh-round talent, that process needs a bullet and a burial.