Calgary Flames sign 2023 first-round pick Sam Honzek to entry-level contract

The Calgary Flames’ announced Wednesday afternoon that they have signed Sam Honzek, their 2023 first-round draft pick, to a three-year entry-level contract (ELC).

Honzek signs contract with Calgary

Honzek was selected 16th overall in the 2023 NHL Draft by the Flames. He was the first ever draft pick by new General Manager Craig Conroy, accomplishing his goal of adding skill with size in this year’s draft.

Sam HonzekCLeft6’4″/ 193cm185lbs / 83.9kg

After playing most of his junior hockey career in Slovakia, Hoznek made the move to North America and played his draft season with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. He put up 23 goals and 56 points in his first North American season, and quickly established himself as a dominant force in the league.

Honzek is widely expected to be the captain of the Giants next season, and will play a key role for the team as they contend for a WHL championship.

His new entry-level deal has a salary of $950K for all three years. This includes a base salary of $855K and a signing bonus of $95K each year. His minors salary is also set at $82.5K. Because Honzek signed in the calendar year of 2023, he is considered to be 18 years old at the time of signing, which opens up a lot of flexibility for the Flames. The contract qualifies for the double slide rule, meaning Honzek’s ELC will slide for two years if he doesn’t play at least 10 games in the NHL. He will be heading back to junior next season so this doesn’t have an impact for 2023–24, but if Honzek plays in the AHL in 2024–25 without skating in 10 NHL games, his ELC will slide again, a unique option not available to players who sign as 19-year-olds.

This essentially makes his ELC a four-year deal instead of a three-year one.

Honzek’s arrival to the NHL

Honzek likely won’t crack the NHL lineup until the 2025–26 season. He has a ton of skills that scouts raved about heading into the draft, so it looks like he’ll be worth the wait.

Welcome to the C of Red, Sam!

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