A very young man has just earned his first big contract as a professional in the National Hockey League.
The Anaheim Ducks have announced that they have finally come to terms with restricted free agent Ondrej Kase to a brand new contract. The Ducks are reporting that this is a three year contract although the team has not disclosed the financial terms of this deal. The Ducks have also released a statement regarding today's contract signing.
"Ondrej is a skilled player that has a bright future in this league," said Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray. "He can skate and score, and will continue to improve as a player as he gains more experience."
Although the Ducks themselves did not disclose the financial terms of the contract according to a breaking news report from Anaheim Ducks insider Eric Stephens this is going to be a very significant increase in pay for Kase. Stephens reports that Kase will earn a total of $7.8 million over the term of his new deal and that works out to an average annual value of $2.6 million per season.
The 22 year old defenseman is coming off back to back solid seasons for the Ducks and has established himself as important part of that organization's depth on the blue line. In the 2016 - 2017 season Kase appeared in 52 games for the Ducks and recorded 5 goals and 5 assists for a total of 15 points. The blue liner finished that season with a plus minus raiting of -1 but he showed a drastic increase in performance the following year. The 2017 - 2018 season saw Kase appear in 66 total games and this time he scored 20 goals and added 18 assists for 38 total points and a plus minus rating of +18 on the season.
That sharp improvement from season to season is likely what earned Kase his 3 year contract, a 1 or 2 year bridge deal would have been a big risk for the Ducks as another sharp improvement this season could have cost them huge. As it stands at just 22 years of age and with just 3 more years ahead of him on this deal, Kase may be setting himself up for a truly gigantic payday in the near future if this trend continues.
Photo Credit: Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/Zuma