Why burning an ELC year for Gavin Brindley makes sense for the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets were able to sign one of their top prospects yesterday, convincing University of Michigan star Gavin Brindley to turn pro after a stellar sophomore year.
2024 Frozen Four
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The Columbus Blue Jackets locked up the player we ranked as the third-best prospect in the system yesterday, signing Gavin Brindley to a three year entry-level contract.

He will join the team immediately, making his debut tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.

As such, the team burns an entire year of his ELC, which means he'll have just two years remaining on the deal. It's a surprising decision by the Jackets, but if you dive into the particulars, it makes sense.

Since he signed with the Jackets so late in the year (notable wording: not an amateur tryout agreement with the Cleveland Monsters), he's ineligible to be sent down for their playoff run. That's a bummer.

So, why did they sign him now, instead of getting him to sign one of those ATO deals?

Simple: they had to do something to convince him to forego his NCAA eligibility. As recently as this weekend, Brindley was rumored to be returning to Michigan for his junior year.

The Jackets wanted to convince him to turn pro, but with the way NHL entry level contracts work, the team's hands are tied as far as the amount of money they can throw at him.

About the only option they had here, was to pay him for this season and burn the first year of his ELC. By signing him now and putting him directly into their lineup, he gets his signing bonus for this year ($95k); and an NHL salary for the last game of the season.

It seems like this is at least in part what it took to convince Gavin to leave the University of Michigan and turn pro.

While it stinks that they burn an entire year of his ELC, and he isn't going to be playing with the Monsters; I do think it was important that they get him out of college now. He's ready to play professional hockey. Let's talk about what he'll bring on the next page.