This was first brought to my attention this morning over at Pension Plan Puppets - Leafs Relinquish Rights to Joel Champagne
Toronto has decided to reportedly let Joel Champagne re-enter the draft this year. Why? I wish I could tell you.
At 6′4″, 220 pounds and over a point per game average in the QMJHL, you’d think he would at least be signed to an ELC. But it looks as though Burke and brass have decided to look the other way.
According to the NHL Re-entry Rules:
"A player not signed by his NHL team within two years of being drafted can re-enter the draft, as long as he is 20 years old or younger at the time of the subsequent draft. Players over 20 become unrestricted free agents."
NCAA players are an exception: NHL teams retain the rights to a college player until 30 days after the player has left college.
A team that does not sign a first-round draft pick is awarded a compensatory pick in a future draft upon losing the rights to that player.
A player who has been drafted a second time cannot re-enter.
According to the Pittsburgh Gazette, The Penguins have run into the same scenario with their 2008 pick Nathan Moon.
According to the article, Moon wasn’t signed by last night’s deadline, so he will go back in to the draft on the 26th.
The same applies to Champagne, and now he too will go back in to the draft pool for another team to take a chance on.
This doesn’t seem like major news, but for a franchise with a bare cupboard of prospects, especially up front, this isn’t the thing you want to hear about as a fan.
I’m not sure what the reasons for this move are going to be, but I guess we’ll find out soon, as someone will surely pop this question to Burke in his next interview.