Jalen Luypen’s star is on the rise.
The Kelowna native, who was passed over by the top teams throughout minor hockey, has signed his first NHL contract.
The 20-year-old center, selected in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, signed a three-year entry-level contract earlier this week.
The standard contract includes an NHL salary of $750,000, and a minor league salary of $80,000. It includes a $92,500 signing bonus in each year of the deal.
Luypen, passed over in the 2020 draft, had a breakout season with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings last season.
He set career highs in goals (29), assists (35) and points (64). His 29 goals were third on the team and 64 points ranked fourth.
“Jalen’s overall game has made big strides over the past year, as shown by his and his team’s success last season,” said Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson.
“His strong work ethic is what we’re looking for in our prospects and that attitude is what will make a huge difference in the future.”
Luypen, listed at five-foot-ten, 155 pounds, told Castanet News after last year’s draft he was told throughout his minor hockey career he wouldn’t make it.
“There’s nothing that makes me happier, and makes me want to go on, than those people that tell me I can’t do it. That’s what drives me, that’s what fuels me,” Luypen said at the time.
Luypen, who has one more year of junior eligibility remaining, will likely get a shot at beginning his professional career with the Blackhawks AHL affiliate in Rockford, Ill.