Daniil Chayka, a second-round draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights this year, has signed his entry-level contract with the team. Per the team’s press release, it’s a three-year deal. Per PuckPedia, the details of the $925,000 average annual value deal are as follows:
2021-22: $750,000 base, $92,500 SB, $80,000 AHL (82 GP perf. bonus included)
2022-23: $750,000 base, $92,500 SB, $80,000 AHL (82 GP perf. bonus included)
2023-24: $832,500 base, $92,500 SB, $80,000 AHL
Chayka, entering the 2020-21 season, was regarded as one of the better defense prospects in the 2021 NHL Draft. He had tallied 34 points in just 56 games with the OHL’s Guelph Storm in 2019-20, suggesting that the large defensive defenseman had some offensive ceiling as well. While that may still be true, Chayka had a bit of a rough year back home in Russia in 2020-21 after the OHL’s shutdown. Bouncing between the KHL, VHL, and MHL, Chayka never played more than 11 games at any level and had some uncharacteristically concerning defensive struggles.
With Chayka returning to Guelph this season, Vegas will gain a better idea of how the 6′ 3″ defender can perform back in North America. He’s at least three or four years away from challenging for a roster spot in Vegas. But if Chayka can return to his 2019-20 level of play or even improve on it this season, his stock could rise post-draft within an already defensively sound organization.