The Detroit Red Wings have five prospects whose rights will expire next summer. If these players do not sign an entry-level contract, that player will either re-enter the draft if they are eligible (under 20 by December 31, 2022), or become a free agent.
Every summer, NHL teams stockpile prospects from the NHL Entry Draft in the hope that some will become NHL regulars. Draftee’s rights have a timeline that is determined by where they are playing or where they plan on playing after the draft.
Canadian Junior Players rights are held by the NHL team that drafts them for two years. If the player is not signed by June 1, two years after being drafted, they either go back into the draft or become a free agent.
NCAA Players rights are held until 30 days after they graduate from college. Typically this is June 1st, four years after they are drafted.
Europeans Players rights are held for four years unless the player is from a country that does not have an agreement with the NHL. For example, Russia does not have an agreement with the NHL so, NHL teams hold onto a Russian players rights indefinitely.
Here is a look at the five players whose rights are currently owned by the Red Wings and whose timeline runs out next summer.
Draft: 2020, Round 2, #55 Overall
Current Team: Portland (WHL)
Cross Hanas is currently one of the highest scoring prospects in the Detroit Red Wings system. During his draft year, Hanas scored 22 goals and 49 points in 60 games with a +20 rating. Last year, because of the pandemic, Hanas started the year playing for Lincoln (USHL). In 27 games, Hanas scored three goals and 16 points. He eventually played six games in Portland (WHL) and scored two goals and four points.
This year, when Hanas finishes his WHL season, he will likely sign a 10-game professional contract with Grand Rapids (AHL). The Red Wings have until June 1st before they must sign him to his entry-level contract.
Prediction: Hanas will sign an entry level contract with Detroit and start his professional career in Grand Rapids (AHL) in 2022.