WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets signed second overall draft pick Patrik Laine to his first NHL contract on Sunday.
Laine, 18, agreed to a 3-year entry level contract worth an average of $3.575 million per season, and that figure also includes a total of $2.65 million in bonuses. Laine’s annual salary is the NHL maximum for rookies on entry level deals.
“First NHL contract so I think I will remember this day.” said Laine. “It’s quite awesome to sign my first NHL contract. I’ve always wanted to do that, and now I’ve done it, so I’m proud of myself.”
Laine and the rest of the Jets prospects were at the MTS Iceplex for the start of the Jets’ five-day Development Camp. Laine is not skating though after he underwent minor knee surgery last month. He doesn’t plan on getting on skates again until closer to the World Cup so he doesn’t re-injure his knee.
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But the contract wasn’t the only thing Laine signed this weekend. Laine was mobbed by autograph seekers while the rest of the Jets prospects were on the ice and he’s still getting used to all the attention.
“I think I’m not the biggest star here.” said Laine. “There’s some bigger stars but it’s been nice, signing autographs and taking photos and stuff.”
WATCH: Video of Patrik Laine signing autographs on Sunday at the MTS Iceplex
Laine signed autographs for what seemed like an eternity, but that all goes with the territory of being a second overall draft pick.
“I’m used to that in Finland so that’s not a problem.” Laine said. “There’s pretty much the same amount of people in Finland asking autographs and stuff so I’m not scared.”
WATCH: Patrik Laine on all the attention he’s getting in Winnipeg
While the exact figure of his signing bonus wasn’t released, apparently the money has already been spent.
“I think I’m going to give my signing bonus to my parents.” Laine said. “They have so much helped me during the way and made this possible that I’m here. I think I want to pay them back.
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Laine will soon head home to Finland for the summer but the Jets Development Camp continues on Monday at the Iceplex.
WATCH: Patrik Laine on his plans for his signing bonus