Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More on Chris Hickey

Andy Baggot has more on Chris Hickey on the Badger Blog.

Andy brings up some interesting points. At a roster of 29 the Badgers would eclipse the UW's roster management policy. Also, it appears that Chris' entry into next season's class has something to do w/ the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

I've been trying to figure out for several days how NHL draft rights work. Under the current CBA, the Minnesota Wild (who drafted Chris in the 7th round in 2006) hold his rights for 4 years. Reading various things on the internet, I thought I gathered that that clock starts ticking once the player enters college. Apparently that is not the case, and 2 years have already expired on Hickey's NHL draft rights. Therefore, after his sophomore year he either will have to sign w/ the Wild or if he doesn't and stays at UW, he will become a free agent. This will not only impact Chris, but it will impact other recruits in the future (unless the rules change) like Travis Erstad and Chase Drake. More on that another time though.

Just for reference on NHL draft rights, players from the CHL or North Americans who are not headed the NCAA route have draft rights for only 2 years. Take Karl Alzner who plays for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2007. His draft rights expire in 2009, where Brendan Smith's draft rights w/ the Red Wings expire in 2011.

Edit: As was pointed out in the comments, if Chris Hickey wouldn't have came to Madison this Fall he would have been considered like any other North American player (like Karl Alzner) and his draft rights would have expired this summer either forcing the Wild to sign him or allow him to become a free agent. Thanks to those who commented that correction.