The second-overall pick has inked his deal, as the New Jersey Devils announced a three-year entry-level contract with Simon Nemec. The contract comes with an average annual value of $950K. Per PuckPedia, Nemec’s three-year deal has the same structure every season, earning him the max entry-level salary of $855K, max signing bonus of $95K, and max Schedule A performance bonus of $1MM. It also includes a Schedule B performance bonus of $2.25MM and an AHL salary of $82.5K.
Nemec, 18, was the top defenseman in this year’s draft after an excellent season with Nitra in the Slovakian league, including a playoff where he put up 17 points in 19 games. A member of the bronze medal-winning Olympic team, alongside top pick Juraj Slafkovsky, and Slovakia’s World Championship entry, he already has experience playing against NHL talent.
In fact, it was at the Worlds where he showed off his elite skating ability and range, scoring six points in eight games to lead all Slovakian defenders. Future New Jersey teammate Tomas Tatar was also on that team serving as captain and would have gotten a good look at the young defenseman.
After the draft, Nemec told reporters that he is ready to play in North America right away, even if that means the AHL. That will be decided at training camp but getting his entry-level deal done was the first step toward an NHL future, whenever that actually happens.
Kids going to be a decent top 4 defender for a long time. Good pick in a weak year.