The Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed one of their young forwards, inking Jordan Weal to a two-year, $3.5MM deal. The average salary, $1.75MM, is quite a jump from the $650K two-way deal Weal had been playing on last season. As a Group VI free agent, he likely was able to create a bidding war of sorts to drive his price up.
After visiting several other cities this week, Weal ultimately decided to return to Philadelphia to continue his professional career. Selected 70th-overall by the Los Angeles Kings, Weal was part of the deal that saw Luke Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier head out west. This year, he dominated at the AHL level and showed that he could contribute in a short NHL stint. In 23 games he recorded 12 points.
The fact that Weal has just 12 points in 37 games makes this contract fairly unbelievable, but despite his relative inexperience the Flyers clearly believe he can contribute in the future. As a comparison, Kris Versteeg received just $1.75MM on a one-year deal to stay in Calgary earlier today, and he had 37 points last season (and 350 in his career).
Weal was ranked #30 in our Top 50 Free Agent ranking, projecting just a one-year contract worth $1.2MM. He clearly eclipsed, that, both in term and salary. Clearly we, and likely many of the other teams underestimated how much the Flyers were willing to commit to him. He’ll have to prove it now as this contract will come with the expectation of a full-time NHL role.