There has been quite the influx of prospect signings today as no fewer than four players have inked their entry-level contracts. This isn’t a coincidence as March 1st is an important day on the NHL calendar that often goes under the radar.

When players sign contracts in-season, the first year of the deal has to be the current season until March 1st arrives. Section 50.8(d) of the CBA notes the following:

No Club or Player may enter into an SPC that does not cover at least the then current League Year. The foregoing does not apply to an SPC entered into pursuant to Section 50.5(f), or to Unsigned Draft Choices or Draft Related Unrestricted Free Agents, who shall be permitted to sign an SPC during the period from March 1 through June 1 immediately preceding the League Year in which such SPC is to take effect.

As a result, today was the first day that prospects could sign entry-level deals that don’t begin until the 2018-19 campaign.