The St. Louis Blues sometimes drag their feet with certain contract situations. That was not the case with their first 2020 draft pick.
The St. Louis Blues have some interesting decisions they have made with their draft picks getting contracts in past years. Sometimes it happens relatively quickly and sometimes they bide their time.
What is interesting about this deal is both the length and the rapid signing. The Blues wasted little time getting this done and seem to want Neighbours in the fold for awhile.
The deal is a three-year contract. As mentioned, the Blues got this thing written up and signed in under two weeks.
In terms of the length, there are two ways to view it. The first is that three years is reasonably standard.
Some entry-level deals are only for two years, so the extra year could be showing faith in a young player that the team wants to keep him in the fold longer. However, the extra year could also just be pragmatic.
With the sports landscape the way it is, there is no telling how many games these developmental talents will get under their belt. Whether Neighbours plays another season in the WHL or makes the jump to the ECHL or AHL, the threat of not playing a full season is still real.
Franchises need to have games and fans need to be in the seats to keep the whole thing viable. However, with such a disparity in how cities and municipalities are handling the situation, there is no way of knowing how things will work.
So, getting a third year instead of just two might just be covering all bases so the scouting department can make sure they see the right amount of games for a young player.
What is interesting, from my view, is how quickly the Blues got this done. Yes, most first-round picks get signed to deals pretty early, but not all.
Some draft picks go quite awhile without signing an entry-level contract. Some of those are the later round picks, but not everyone puts a signature down right away.
So, perhaps the Blues see a good amount of potential in Neighbours. I won’t pretend I was high on the selection, but it was more out of naiveté than thinking there is no talent.
The kid has the right attitude. He has already committed himself to doing whatever it takes to make the Blues roster sooner rather than later.
As of right now, he’s got three years to do what it takes.