The Vegas Golden Knights have signed a top prospect, inking Jack Dugan to a two-year entry-level contract. The deal will not burn his first year this summer and instead starts with the 2020-21 season. He will not be eligible for the Golden Knights’ playoff run this season.
Dugan, 22, will forego his last two years at Providence College and join the professional ranks after an outstanding college career. The fifth-round pick recorded 91 points in 75 NCAA games, including leading the entire nation in scoring this season with 52. While sometimes huge offensive numbers like that come from players too small to succeed at the NHL level, Dugan is also a 6’2″ forward that uses his frame and reach effectively to protect the puck before finding an open teammate.
Getting him to join the organization now means the Golden Knights will have full control over the development of the Hobey Baker finalist, though that may include some time in the minor leagues. There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to Dugan’s future, but like any player making the jump from college there is no guarantee he can find that kind of sustained success at the NHL level right away.
Still, the flat salary cap will make for some tough decisions in Vegas just like everywhere else around the league. The team already has over $75MM committed to 17 roster players for 2020-21, meaning there isn’t a lot left over for those last few spots. A player like Dugan may be able to force his way onto the roster because of his relative cost, though David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the deal will be worth the entry-level maximum ($925K) and will include Schedule A performance bonuses.
CapFriendly clarifies that the deal, which carries a $1.5625MM AAV with bonuses, breaks down as follows:
2020-21: $925K salary including signing bonus, $425K in Class A performance bonuses
2021-22: $925K salary including signing bonus, $850K in Class A performance bonuses