Calgary Flames General Manager Craig Conroy
Photo credit: NHL

Calgary Flames give former third round pick a HUGE first contract

Published March 14, 2024 at 1:08 PM

When it comes to entry level contracts the NHL is one of the most restrictive leagues in the world. NHL owners have worked very hard to keep the contract values of rookies down and have done so with the entry level contract structure. Usually that structure means that any player selected outside of the first round won't be entitled to any signing bonus or performance bonuses.

However, every once and awhile, a player breaks the mold and forces a team's hand. That's exactly what Hunter Brzustewicz has done to the Calgary Flames. Brzustewicz was initially drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, but was acquired by the Flame in the Elias Lindholm trade. Brzustewicz was selected 75th overall in the 2023 draft, but has taken a huge step forward this year.

In 62 games this season with the Kitchener Rangers, Brzustewicz has 12 goals and 73 assists. The mobile defender is exactly the type of the player the Flames love and today's contract proved that.

$855K/$82.5K/$95K signing bonus all three years. That's a big package for a third-rounder, but it shows how far he's come and how much CAL wanted him

Many General Managers won't be thrilled seeing a former third round pick secure both performance bonuses and a signing bonus but that's the cost of doing business in Calgary.

If Brzustewicz keeps up his current level of play he is assured to get a long look at Flames' camp later this fall. Brzustewicz will be viewed as one of the key pieces of the Lindholm trade and a key piece of the Flames future.
March 14   |   274 answers
Calgary Flames give former third round pick a HUGE first contract

Should entry level players have more freedom?

No, the entry level deal is great19571.2 %
Yes, let them pick freely7928.8 %
Latest 10 stories