The Anaheim Ducks have signed defender Jamie Drysdale to a three-year entry-level contract, the club announced on Saturday. Per CapFriendly, Drysdale’s contract carries a cap hit of $925,000, with performance bonuses making his maximum potential average annual value of $1.775 million, as well as a minors salary of $80,000.
Drysdale was the team’s first selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and the first of two first-round selections. The team took winger Jacob Perreault at 27th overall. Perreault signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Ducks on Thursday.
The 2019-20 season was huge for the Erie Otters alternate captain, who was nearly a point per game player with 47 points (9 goals, 38 assists) in 49 OHL games. He led all Otters defenders in goals, assists and points. Among all 2020 draft-eligible OHL defenders, Drysdale led in assists and points, and tied for second in goals, largely considered to be the top defensive prospect in this draft. He was the second defender drafted in 2020 (the Ottawa Senators took Jake Sanderson at fifth overall).
Though the Ducks are hoping Drysdale will step into the lineup sooner rather than later, he’ll probably spend the 2020-21 season in the OHL. It might not be that easy — the OHL has planned a February 4, 2021 opening, but it’s still unclear how the junior league’s three US-based teams, including Drsydale’s Otters (located in Erie, Pennsylvania), will compete with a closed border.
The NHL, meanwhile, is striving for a January 1, 2021 start date.
Ducks fans will get a peak at Drysdale in action a little sooner than that, as he’s been invited to Team Canada’s roster camp and will likely make a follow-up appearance to last year’s Gold Medal win. Drydale scored one goal and two assists in the seven-game tournament. The 18-year-old has also represented Canada at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup (silver), 2019 U-18 World Championship and 2019 U-17 World Hockey Challenge.