It has been a busy past week for the Western Hockey League’s Winnipeg ICE. After seeing import draft selection and first-year player Nino Kinder sign back home in Germany, the ICE then watched as leading scorer Isaac Johnson put pen to paper on a professional deal with the neighbour Manitoba Moose.
On Friday, it was announced that first year forward Michal Teply had agreed to terms with the Chicago Blackhawks on a three-year, entry-level rookie contract, carrying an $826K annual average value that runs through the 2022-23 NHL season.
“I am so happy and honored that I signed my first NHL contract with the Chicago Blackhawks,” Teply wrote in an Instagram post. “I wanna say thank you all people around me who has helped me to get this point. I would never make this without my family, my friends and the Winnipeg ICE. I can’t forget my lovely team BK Havlickuv Brod thank you.”
Teply, 18, spent the 2019-20 COVID-19 shortened season with Winnipeg after being selected 4th overall in the 2019 CHL Import Draft. A couple months later the 6-foot-3, 195-pound winger went 105th overall to the Blackhawks in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Coming to North America after spending life as he knew it in his native Czech Republic, Teply instantly clicked in Winnipeg, scoring 29 goals in his rookie season, while adding 34 assists for 63 points in just 53 games – producing at a 1.19 point-per-game rate, which placed him second on the team behind captain Peyton Krebs. Teply did struggle in the plus/minus department, finishing second-worst on the team, with a -17 season total.
Teply opened his WHL career with six points in his first three games, before putting up 11 points in a six-game streak spanning December through January. He then had 15 goals and 30 points in a span of just 18 games – a streak in which he was help pointless just one time. The speedy winger ended the season with seven points in his final four games.
Teply led all WHL rookies in assists and points, while his 29 goals was tied for first amongst rookie forwards. The youngster also represented his country at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, averaging a point-per-game for the Czechs as he had five assists in five contests.