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The best NHL contracts according to The Athletic: Kaprizov hit the top 10


Recently, The Athletic published a list of the best contracts in the NHL, including one Russian player, Minnesota star Kirill Kaprizov. The author of the ranking admits that contract valuation is a controversial issue (and indeed, the list, for example, does not include Nathan McKinnon, who earns only $6.3 million a year, and this is just one example). But he explains that he relies on calculations of the surplus value of each player, that is, the difference between real wages and market value, which, in turn, is derived from a combination of various statistical indicators over the past three years. Thus, the best contracts are those where the return and benefit from the player exceeds his salary.

1. Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)

Five years, $9 million per season.

Makar’s contract is called the best in the world – he is the best defenseman, he has the Stanley Cup, the title of the most valuable player in the playoffs and the Norris Trophy. His average market value for the remaining years is estimated at almost $20 million, which is well above the maximum possible salary (20% of the salary cap, at the moment it is $16.3 million). There are only two such players, according to the publication’s calculations, except for Makar – McDavid and Matthews.

Cale Makar

Photo: Getty Images

The author comes to the conclusion that Makar’s contract is an incredible theft, especially given the similar contracts of other top young defenders. “Makar is from another planet, it’s still amazing how the Colorado were able to conclude a long-term agreement with him with a salary of less than $ 10 million,” the author writes.

2. Charlie McEvoy (Boston Bruins)

Eight years, $9.5 million per season.

McEvoy is called one of the best defenders of the defensive plan, who this season has also added great in attack. His average market value is estimated at nearly $15 million, bringing the total added value over the remaining years to $43.5 million. “Remember Karlsson vs. Doughty in the previous generation? Makar and McEvoy are the same, only at maximum speeds. When McAvoy signed the contract, we were shocked by his amount, but given what he has already shown, this is already an underestimated salary. McAvoy is a nearly flawless defender who is definitely worth the money.

3. Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)

Four years, $12.5 million per season.

McAvid is the most expensive player in the world, but he was placed in third place due to the fact that the total added value is lower, since he has only four years left on his current contract. “Sometimes it’s hard to realize that the most valuable player in the league is underpaid, but in terms of value to the team, McDavid delivers more value than most players in the league. You can pay him $20 million and still put together a competitive team. It is very interesting how much he will be worth in four years, when he becomes a free agent. And even then, he will still be underpaid, as always happens with the best, ”the author writes.

4. Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins)

Three years, $6.1 million per season.

Marchand is one of the few “oldies” on this list. It is noted that Boston took a risk by signing this contract, but the attacker, despite his age, so far exceeds all expectations and has become an even more valuable player for his team. He should save Boston $24.6 million over the next three years. “Marchand knows how to do everything and can continue to play like that. Attack, defense, whatever you want. At a price of $ 6.1 million, it couldn’t be better, ”the author writes.

5. Johnny Gaudreau (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Seven years, $9.8 million per season.

Gaudreau had a phenomenal season, after which he could count on a much higher salary – closer to $ 14 million. According to calculations, his value will decrease from year to year, but still the contract will be more than profitable. “It doesn’t fit in my head that Gaudreau after the season at the MVP level received a salary of $ 2 million less than Panarin a couple of years ago. Perhaps the scoring model overestimates Godreau because you never know what will happen to the players after a change of club. The jump in productivity over the last year is a red flag, but still Gaudreau is highly regarded. He is a magician with a puck who makes his partners noticeably better. Now he was paid as if there was no last season. But he was, and getting Gaudreau for less than $ 10 million is a serious investment, ”the author writes.

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6. Roman Yozi (Nashville Predators)

Six years, $9.1 million per season.

The Swiss defender was predicted to be “Norris” all year, and Makar bypassed him literally on the flag. In any case, Yozi fully works out his money, and even more. The total added value for the remaining years should be more than $26 million.

“It is difficult to accurately calculate what will happen in the coming years, given that the contract is up to 37 years. So far Yosi is playing incredibly well for his age. It is fair to expect that it will continue to be the same. It is unlikely that he will again score almost 100 points in a season, but a point per game – no question, ”the author writes.

7. Adam Fox (New York Rangers)

Seven years, $9.5 million per season.

Last season’s Norris Trophy winner is another young defenseman whose contract will last throughout the peak of his career. Its average market value is estimated at $12.8 million.

Adam Fox

Photo: Getty Images

“Fox is almost on par with Makar and McAvoy. We didn’t rank him higher because in the last year his ability to play five on five has dipped a bit. Perhaps the point is in the game of the team, and not in him personally, ”the author writes.

8. Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Two years, $11.6 million per season.

According to the forecasts of the publication, Matthews will be the most useful next season. His market value is estimated at almost twice his real salary – $ 21.7 million. And his rather low place in the rankings is due to the fact that his contract is only for two more seasons.

“When Matthews signed the contract, many said that he was overpaid. However, it quickly became clear that this was not the case at all. He is being paid much less than he is worth,” the author writes.

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9. Miro Heiskanen (Dallas Stars)

Seven years, $8.5 million per season.

“Another young superstar defenseman on a $9 million long-term deal. Heiskanen’s value is largely based on his defensive qualities, which explains why he is paid less than Makar, McEvoy and Fox. But with the departure of Klingberg, Heiskanen has an opportunity to unleash his potential in attack. He has everything for this, ”the author writes. Heiskanen’s contract should save Dallas over $20 million.

10. Kirill Kaprizov (Minnesota Wild)

Four years, $9 million per season.

A year ago, many called Kaprizov’s contract overpriced, but he fully works out every cent, and even more. Kirill’s surplus value for the remaining years is $16.5 million. “His $9 million is practically nothing. You can count on Kaprizov as a player who will consistently score 40 goals and score 90 or more points per season. This is a rare find. It’s worth closer to $13 million on ice and was lucky to get it for less than $10 million.


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