The New York Islanders signed three prospects recently, but only one signed an NHL deal.
On Thursday, the New York Islanders announced that they had come to terms on entry-level deals with three of their forward prospects. Blade Jenkins, Felix Bibeau, and Cole Coskey were all signed to deals.
But it seems only one of them is actually signed to an NHL deal. According to CapFriendly, only Blade Jenkins is signed to an NHL deal while Felix Bibeau and Cole Coskey both signed AHL deals.
So what does that mean?
AHL Deal vs NHL Deal
The press release from the Islanders PR on Thursday didn’t specify if either player had signed an NHL deal or an AHL deal nor were any financial details released. But with some sleuthing, Cap Friendly figured out that Coskey and Bibeau were signed to AHL deals.
So what does that actually mean? What is the difference between an AHL deal and an NHL deal?
By signing AHL deals, Coskey and Bibeau stay on the Islanders reserve lists but don’t count towards the team’s max 50 contracts. For the 2020-21 season, the Isles have 32 of 50 contracts.
With AHL deals Coskey and Bibeau are free to play in the AHL but cannot come up to the NHL unless they sign NHL deals. The two are also bound by the AHL-PHPA CBA rather than the NHL’s CBA.
In terms of financials, there isn’t a maximum compensation level for AHL deals but there are minimums. For the 2020-21 season, the minimum AHL deal is $51,000 US.
If you want to know more about the AHL’s CBA you can read about it here: AHL-PHPA CBA
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That’s about all you need to know about what it means that these players signed AHL deals over NHL deals. Having these prospects signed to AHL deals versus NHL deals just means they stay in the lower pro league versus the actual pros.