Chase Priskie is having one heck of a year for Quinnipiac. In his senior season, he leads all defensemen in the nation with 17 goals, ranks second among defensemen in points with 39 and is tied for fifth in the nation in game-winning goals with six. He broke a team record for most career goals by a defenseman with 39 and has the most career points among active defensemen in the nation with 116.
Priskie’s strong season has netted him a Hobey Baker nomination and, as a 2016 draft pick of the Capitals, it sounds like someone the team could be interested in signing once his season ends.
But they can’t.
Washington acquired Carl Hagelin and Nick Jensen and shipped out Madison Bowey. The extra player now brings the total number of contracts in the organization to 50, the maximum allowed.
Here’s where things get complicated.
Because Priskie just finished his fourth year with his college team, per my understanding of the CBA, the Caps will only retain his rights through and including Aug. 15, but he becomes a free agent after that if he has not been signed by Washington.
According to the New Haven Register, the Caps wanted to sign him last year, but Priskie elected to return to college after a disappointing finish to the season.
“My initial intentions were to leave and sign,” Priskie said. “But I thought I could leave more of a legacy at this program. I want to be one of the best players to ever come out of here. That’s my goal. I hadn’t obtained that after my junior year. I decided there was no rush and that it would be best to come back and mentor the big freshman class we had coming in.”
This begs the question, just what will Priskie do when Quinnipiac’s season ends?
Priskie has used up his four years of eligibility with the NCAA. The Caps will not be able to sign him until they move a contract. Just to clarify, players who are under contract do not necessarily have to be playing in the NHL so sending a player to Hershey does not count. Alex Alexeyev is technically under contract even though he is playing in the WHL.
Barring any offseason trades, that means Priskie will have to wait until the start of free agency on July 1 when current contracts expire before Washington will be allowed to sign him.
Sure, Priskie could choose to stick with the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 2016 and he may do just that. If he has to wait until July 1 at the earliest, however, Aug. 15 is not all that far off. It may be tempting for him to wait those few extra weeks and test free agency.
Other prospect notes:
- Hershey’s point streak ended on Sunday with a 5-1 loss to Bridgeport. The Bears went 16-0-0-1 with 11 straight wins before the loss. The team went 44 days between regulation losses and, with a record of 31-21-0-3, has already surpassed its win total from last season. They climbed from last place in the Atlantic division all the way up to third with 67 points, three head of fourth place Providence and seven ahead of Lehigh Valley, the first team out of the playoffs.
- Riley Barber and Mike Sgarbossa were Hershey’s leading scorers over the point streak with 18 points apiece.
- Barber’s hat trick on Friday was the second of his career.
- Ilya Samsonov has allowed two or fewer goals in eight straight starts. He has dropped his GAA all the way down to 2.77, a significant improvement from the 3.88 he had after the first 15 games of the season.
- Garrett Pilon leads all Bears rookies in assists (18) and points (23).
- Aaron Ness leads Hershey’s defensemen with 39 points and is second in the AHL among defensemen in assists (36).
- The Saskatoon Blades have reached the WHL playoffs for the first time since 2003, thanks in large part to prospects Eric Florchuk and Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen. Florchuck, a 2018 draft pick for Washington, has 20 goals and 45 total points while Roykas-Marthinsen has 12 goals and 27 points.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS:
- NHL Power Rankings: Can Caps find big value in small trades?
- Better Than Last Year? GM makes strong claim about Caps
- Deadline Report Card: Islanders did nothing, earn top grade in Metro