The NHL trade deadline came and went without Chuck Fletcher adding any players, but the Philadelphia Flyers signed one on Tuesday. The Flyers signed college free agent forward Jackson Cates to an entry-level contract.
Here is the Flyers announcement from president of Hockey Operations & General Manager Chuck Fletcher:
“The Philadelphia Flyers have signed free agent forward Jackson Cates from the University of Minnesota-Duluth to a two-year entry-level contract worth an average annual value (AAV) of 925K that begins this season.”
“Jackson is a player that our staff has followed closely throughout his college career,” said Brent Flahr, the Flyers Vice President & Assistant General Manager. “He’s a tenacious two-way center that has steadily improved his overall game each season. He’s been an integral part of a very successful college program at UMD and we’re excited to see him take his game to the next level.”
If the name “Cates” sounds familiar to you, there’s a good reason. Jackson Cates is the older brother of Noah Cates, the Flyers’ fifth-round pick from the 2017 NHL Draft. Jackson was born on September 28th, 1997, while Noah was born on February 5th, 1999. The two brothers were teammates at the University of Minnesota-Duluth for the past three seasons.
Jackson Cates was a non-roster invite to Flyers Development Camp in Summer 2019.
The Flyers have yet to sign Noah Cates, but all signs point to him getting a contract soon. Signing his older brother is definitely a good sign.
Jackson Cates is a 23-year-old forward from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He improved every year in his NCAA career. He had 14 points in 39 games his freshman year, 23 points in 29 games last season, and 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 28 games this past season.
There’s a possibility that Cates gets a look with the Flyers this season, given the fact that his entry-level contract is kicking in. The Flyers still have very slim playoff hopes, but those should continue to dwindle in the next week or two. After that, giving younger players a look won’t hurt, especially with a condensed schedule.
It never hurts to add another prospect or young player into the mix. If he doesn’t pan out, it’s not the end of the world.