The Calgary Flames have reached an agreement with one of their many restricted free agents, signing Oliver Kylington to a one-year deal. The two-way contract will carry an NHL salary of $750K. Kylington, though eligible for salary arbitration this year, chose not to file.
Interestingly enough, that NHL salary is quite a bit lower than the $826,875 qualifying offer that Kylington would have received. The difference comes in the AHL salary, which Ryan Pike of Flames Nation reports is $300K, a healthy number for the minor leagues. That may suggest Kylington is expecting to see considerable time in the AHL, but also could actually help his case when trying to make the NHL club. A bottom-pairing or seventh defender at $750K is a valuable one for a team trying to fit everyone in under the cap.
Of course, Kylington won’t be surprised if he ends up on waivers once again, given he cleared at the beginning of this season even after playing 48 games for the Flames in 2019-20. He spent nearly the entire year on the taxi squad, suiting up for just eight games with the Flames and three with the Stockton Heat. Now 24, he’s transitioning out of the prospect phase of his career and is in trouble of being labeled a fringe NHL player.
This training camp will be key. If Kylington can establish himself as one of the Flames best six defenders and secure a full-time NHL role, there’s still a chance for him to fulfill his potential as a second-round pick. If he’s in the minor leagues once again, it’s hard to see him ever really becoming an impact player.