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How do entry-level contracts work?


Players younger than 25 as of Sept. 15 in the calendar year their first NHL contract is signed are subject to the terms of Article 9 of the CBA and must sign an entry-level contract (ELC). This means the amount of salary and team-paid performance bonuses is capped, depending on his draft year or the year he signs. The length of the ELC is also specified based on the player's age.

AGE	LENGTH 
18-21	3 years
22-23	2 years
24	1 year
25+	No Restriction *

* A one-year entry-level restriction applies to drafted players from Europe aged 25 to 27.

All ELCs are two-way contracts and can be extended by as many as two seasons (see "How does a contract slide?" in this FAQ). The maximum allowable salaries for players selected in each entry draft are as follows:

2001:  $858,800
2002:  $900,600
2003:  $942,400
2004:  $984,200
2005:  $850,000
2006:  $850,000
2007:  $875,000
2008:  $875,000
2009:  $900,000
2010:  $900,000
2011-2022: $925,000

ELCs can contain two types of bonuses: signing bonuses and performance bonuses.

Signing bonuses cannot exceed 10 percent of the contract's total compensation. They are typically paid out annually.


Performance bonuses, or Exhibit 5 bonuses, cannot exceed $2,850,000. These bonuses are divided into two categories: Schedule A and Schedule B.

Schedule A bonuses cannot exceed $212,500 per individual bonus and $850,000 in aggregate. Following is a run down.

SKATERS
  Forwards Defensemen
Ice time (aggregate or per game) Player must be among top six forwards on the club (minimum 42 regular season games played by player and comparison group). An ELC may contain a provision for both aggregate and per-game ice time; however, the maximum a player may earn for ice time bonuses is $212,500. Player must be among top four defensemen on the club (minimum 42 regular season games played by player and comparison group). An ELC may contain a provision for both aggregate and per-game ice time; however, the maximum a player may earn for ice time bonuses is $212,500.
Goals 20 10
Assists 35 25
Points 60 40
PPG 0.73 (min 42 gp) 0.49 (min 42 gp)
Plus-Minus Among top three forwards on club (min 42 gp) Among top three defensemen on club (min 42 gp)
Blocked Shots Among top two defensemen on club (min 42 gp)
All-Rookie Team
All-Star Game Selected to play or plays Selected to play or plays
All-Star Game MVP

GOALIES
Minutes Played 1,800 minimum
Goals-Against Average GAA <= median GAA of all goalies who played 25 or more regular season games; if there is an even number of these goaltenders, the median will be the average of the two middle values. Must play in at least 25 regular season games, with at least 30 minutes in each game (including minutes replaced by an extra attacker).
Save Percentage Sv% >= median Sv% of all goalies who played 25 or more regular season games; if there is an even number of these goaltenders, the median will be the average of the two middle values. Must play in at least 25 regular season games, with at least 30 minutes in each game (including minutes replaced by an extra attacker).
Wins 20 (minimum 30 minutes in each game, including minutes replaced by an extra attacker)
Shutouts Shutouts >= media number of shutouts of all goalies who played 25 or more regular season games; if there is an even number of goaltenders, the median will be the average of the two middle values. Must play in at least 30 minutes in each game (including minutes replaced by an extra attacker)
All-Rookie Team
All-Star Game Selected to play or plays
All-Star Game MVP

Schedule B bonuses, with criteria and amounts outlined in the tables below, are automatically paid by the league and do not need to be written into an entry-level contract. Schedule B bonuses paid by the league do not count against the team's salary cap.

However, a player and club may agree to any compensation for the Schedule B categories listed blow, provided the maximum aggregate amount does not exceed $2 million. That means up to $2 million can be earned by achieving just one Schedule B bonus criteria (ie. Calder Trophy win). Schedule B bonuses paid by the team count against the team's salary cap.

Following is a list of Schedule B bonuses that are automatically paid by the league and likewise the categories that can be negotiated between the team and player.


League-wide awards/trophies

Hart, Norris, Vezina, Selke, Richard 
Winner:		$250,000
Second:		$200,000
Third:		$150,000
Fourth:		$100,000
Fifth:		$50,000

Lady Byng 
Winner:		$150,000
Second:		$100,000
Third:		$50,000

Jennings 
Winner:		$50,000 * pro-rated share if co-winner

Calder 
Winner:		$212,500
Second:		$150,000
Third:		$100,000

All-Star Team 
1st Team:	$100,000
2nd Team: 	$50,000

Conn Smythe 
Winner:	 	$250,000

League performance bonuses

FORWARDS
Rank Goals, Assists, Points PPG (min. 42 games)
Winner $150,000 $100,000
2nd $140,000 $90,000
3rd $130,000 $80,000
4th $120,000 $70,000
5th $110,000 $60,000
6th $100,000 $50,000
7th $90,000 $40,000
8th $80,000 $30,000
9th $70,000 $20,000
10th $60,000 $10,000
DEFENSEMEN
Rank Goals, Assists, Points TOI, PPG (min. 42 games)
Winner $150,000 $100,000
2nd $140,000 $90,000
3rd $130,000 $80,000
4th $120,000 $70,000
5th $110,000 $60,000
6th $100,000 $50,000
7th $90,000 $40,000
8th $80,000 $30,000
9th $70,000 $20,000
10th $60,000 $10,000
GOALTENDERS
Rank GAA and Sv% (min. 25 GP/min. 30 minutes/GP); wins (30-minute min.)
Winner $150,000
2nd $140,000
3rd $130,000
4th $120,000
5th $110,000

CBA Reference: Exhibit 5 (PDF Pages: 346-351; Document Pages: 326-331).