While the San Jose Sharks were busy facing the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday night, the front office was still hard at work as well. CapFriendly reports that the team has come to terms with prospect forward Dillon Hamaliuk on an entry-level contract. The team has signed the junior forward to a three-year deal that carries a $700K base salary in years one and two and a $750K salary in year three, with a $92.5K signing bonus in each season and performances bonuses totaling a $809K cap hit in all three years.
Hamaliuk, 18, was San Jose’s second round pick this past June in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft from the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Hamaliuk was considered a reach in round two at the time, having not yet proved himself as an elite offensive talent. Hamaliuk has just one full junior season on his resume, a 2017-18 campaign in which he recorded only 39 points in 72 games. Last year, injuries limited Hamaliuk to just 31 games with Seattle, but he scored at a much higher clip to total 26 points on the year. The Sharks must have liked what they saw in that limited action, as they reached for the big winger at No. 55. So far this season, it looks like their move may have paid off. Hamaliuk, now with the Kelowna Rockets following an off-season trade, has five goals and ten points in only 12 games.
Even if Hamaliuk continues his torrid scoring pact this season in Kelowna, don’t expect him in the NHL right away next year, regardless of the entry-level deal. While he has the size and strength to compete at the pro level, Hamaliuk is still somewhat of a raw player, who relies heavily on his athleticism and aggressive style. The 6’3” left wing needs to continue to focus on improving his skating and skills before making the jump. His contract will now be waiting for him once he’s ready. With proper development, Hamaliuk could prove to have been a steal by the Sharks as he grows into a dangerous power forward.