In my post earlier today about prospects, I made a comment about the eligibility of OHL prospects joining the Providence Bruins. The rules are that if a player has played in juniors, he cannot play in the AHL until the season he turns 20 before December 31, but he can go to the NHL anytime. He can go to the AHL when his junior team is finished for the season. Of course, he has to have a contract with the team that drafted him to go to their AHL or NHL team at all.
I commented that Malcom Subban, who was drafted by the Bruins 24th overall in the 1st round of 2012, would not be eligible to join the Providence Bruins when his OHL team is eliminated from the playoffs because he doesn’t have a contract with the Boston Bruins. This was incorrect – he does indeed have a contract with the Bruins that he signed before the lockout.
To go a bit further into the scenario of Subban joining either the NHL or AHL — since he doesn’t turn 20 until December of next season (2013-14), he would be eligible to join the AHL then. Players on entry-level contracts can play a certain number of NHL games before burning the first year on that contract (ELC are 3 years), but they can play any number of games in the AHL without using up the NHL ELC. Subban could, in theory, join the Providence Bruins when and if his OHL team’s playoff run ends this season, and he could also join full-time next season.
If Anton Khudobin goes elsewhere to be a starting goaltender, Niklas Svedberg will likely be Tuukka Rask‘s backup next season, which would open the slot for Subban to develop further in the AHL. Khudobin is an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of this season, and Rask is a Restricted Free Agent.
One final note on contracts – a team can only have up to 50 total contracts at a team. The Bruins are currently at that limit (roster players + non-roster players – buyouts = total). In the AHL, they can easily sign someone to a Professional Tryout Contract and have him play in games if someone is needed, but in the NHL they aren’t allowed to actually play if they’re on a tryout (see Jay Pandolfo earlier this season before he signed his actual contract). The Providence Bruins also have players signed to their team that are not signed with Boston (Bobby Robins and Kyle MacKinnon to name my 2 favorites that I wish were signed by Boston), so obviously they could never be called up to Boston.
That’s about the extent of my contract knowledge. I hope I didn’t get anything else wrong or confuse anyone too much. Please feel free to correct me on anything and everything.