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Calgary Flames sign Samuel Honzek to entry-level deal (three years, $950,000 AAV)

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Photo credit:Rob Wilton/Vancouver Giants
Ryan Pike
8 months ago
The Calgary Flames have locked up a bit piece of their prospect pool. The club announced on Wednesday afternoon that they’ve signed 2023 first-round selection Samuel Honzek to a three-year entry-level deal. His contract carries a $950,000 base cap hit at the NHL, as well as includes potential performance bonuses of up to $500,000 per season.
A product of Trencin, Slovakia, the 18-year-old Honzek was the 16th overall selection in June’s NHL Draft. An import winger plying his trade with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Honzek boasts size and skill and was a strong performer for the Giants in 2022-23, his first North American season. He’s widely expected to return to major junior and captain the Giants during 2023-24, which will be his 19-year-old season.
Signing now gives Honzek a bit of money in his pocket, but it also gets some business out of the way rather than dragging it out and potentially gives the Flames a bit of contractual flexibility. In the event that Honzek doesn’t play 10 (or more) NHL games in 2023-24, his ELC won’t begin until 2024-25. However, if he doesn’t play 10 (or more) games in 2024-25 as well, his ELC won’t begin until 2025-26. This is referred to as the double slide, something the Flames recently took advantage of when 2020 first-rounder Connor Zary signed awhile back. Since Honzek will probably be in the WHL in 2023-24, the first slide will likely happen. If he goes to the AHL rather than direct to the NHL in 2024-25, the second slide could be a possibility as well.
Signing Honzek this quickly removes potential distractions for the youngster, gives him a vote of confidence from the hockey club, and gives the Flames a bit of flexibility going forward. It’s as close to a no-risk, win-win situation as you can find when it comes to player contracts.

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