It's sign-your-picks season, and the New York Islanders have announced agreement with 6'6 defenseman Loic Leduc, their 2012 fourth-round (103rd overall) draft pick out of the QMJHL, on a three-year entry level contract (ELC).
Loïc Leduc is the tallest member of the Isles' infamous "give me ALL the defensemen!" draft of 2012, though he's far from the highest-profile member of that crop (that would be Griffin Reinhart) and not the most important one left to sign (that would be Ville Pokka, who has had an outstanding season for Karpat in Finland).
Teams have to make decisions on non-NCAA 2012 draft picks by June or risk them re-entering the draft, Brenden Kichton and Alan Quine-style.
[UPDATE: I've been lax on my 2013 CBA homework. Looks like they added an amendment extended the signing window for European draftees to four years. h/t @RyanTendrup on Twitter. (Rights aside, I still think it's time to red rover, red rover, bring Pokka on over.)]
For the rest of the 2012 None More Defensemen Class:
- Reinhart (1st round) was signed that summer.
- Adam Pelech (3rd round) was signed last month.
- Jesse Graham (6th round) was brought in for an AHL tryout with Bridgeport to finish the season (but still would need a contract). They had yet to talk to him about a contract at the end of the season.
- Doyle Somerby and Jake Bischoff are NCAA players, so even without contracts the Isles hold their rights until they leave college.
From the release on Leduc, a right-handed shot who you can now expect in Bridgeport next season:
Leduc, 19, scored 15 points (six goals, nine assists) and a plus-13 rating in 63 games this season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Mercier, QC, native split his fourth season QMJHL season between the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Rimouski Oceanic. Leduc was dealt mid-season and recorded two assists with a plus-9 rating in 11 playoff games with Rimouski.
He's not a brawler but he has a fight card with a couple of bouts per year.
Leduc was selected with the fourth-round pick the Islanders received from Buffalo for the rights to Christian Ehrhoff, which was necessary because the Isles had shipped their fourth-round pick to Vancouver for ... the rights to Christian Ehrhoff.
The Islanders are far from reaching the 50-contract max right now, but an ELC (which carries a mandatory three-year term for players Leduc's age) still carries a commitment, particularly given all the defensemen who are starting to enter the pipeline.
Inevitably, some drafted names will be left to walk away unsigned. Consider this ELC a vote of confidence from the club for Leduc.