Saturday: Official now, the Devils have signed Clarke to his three-year ELC which is set to begin next season. The team notes in their release that Clarke is currently playing with the AHL’s Binghamton Devils and should remain there for the time being.
Friday: Though the team hasn’t officially announced it yet, Graeme Clarke has signed his entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils. PuckPedia was the first to report the deal, which is a three-year contract that carries a cap hit of $850K. The deal will kick in for the 2021-22 season.
Clarke, 19, was selected with the 80th overall pick in 2019 and like many other prospects has been just trying to get games in wherever he can. In December, he agreed to a loan overseas and played six games in the Slovakian professional league, recording a single point. In early February, while still waiting on the OHL to return, he inked an AHL deal with the Binghamton Devils where he has played in four games. Though he still doesn’t have a point, just getting some on-ice experience is a huge step for a player that saw his 2019-20 season shortened drastically.
In October of 2019, just a few months after being selected by the Devils, Clarke suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. He’d end up playing just 16 games with the Ottawa 67’s thanks to the rehab and early shutdown, meaning it was nearly a lost development year for the young winger. Now, even with a handful of games at the AHL level, his path is still stunted. When the OHL returns in some fashion, Clarke will be forced to return to junior.
The Devils meanwhile still obviously believe in his talent, enough to sign him to an entry-level deal. Had they not, his draft rights would have expired in June.