Connor McDavid has already made his mark on the ice as a generational talent. Now, he’s making his mark off of it, as well, becoming the NHL’s highest-paid player.
Not bad for a guy who just left his teens five months ago.
McDavid and the Oilers agreed to an eight-year contract extension which will cost $12.5 million per year against the salary cap once it kicks in following the upcoming season. That deal easily tops the dual $10.5 million cap hits of Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, which are currently the highest in the NHL for 2017-18. Anze Kopitar of the Kings has a salary cap charge of $10 million; and Montreal’s Carey Price will earn an average of $10.5 million per season beginning in 2018-19.
The wholesale nhl jerseys deal became official Wednesday at a news conference in Edmonton. Reportedly it is worth $750,000 less per season than originally reported last week.
Of course few would argue that McDavid deserves to be the highest-paid player in the sport. The 20-year-old, 2015 first-overall pick already has 102 assists and 148 points in only 127 career games played. He just captured the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsey Award, signaling his rise as the league’s top player in 2016-17, when he secured the Art Ross Trophy, leading the NHL with 100 points. That he did so as the youngest captain in league history merely adds to McDavid’s growing legend.
While the dollar figure is record-setting by NHL standards, it pales in comparison to what comparable superstars are paid in the other major sports.
LeBron James hauls in a cool $35.6 million per year, nearly triple what McDavid will make. Clayton Kershaw is right behind James, with MLB’s top salary that calls for him to make $35.571 million each season. Saints quarterback Drew Brees leads the NFL with a cap hit of $28 million.
Of course, other leagues generate more revenue and have higher team salary caps than the NHL, and not every penny of an NFL pact is even guaranteed. But it is sobering to see that 67 players in the NBA — 67! — will make more than McDavid in 2017-18. As of today, 52 NFL players will pull in more than McDavid’s reported $13.25 million; and the EA Sports NHL 18 cover boy will make the same as Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel this season, sitting behind 85 other major league baseball players.
Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday that McDavid’s signing signals a partnership between the team and player, and that the young superstar could have sought more dollars and agreed to fewer years on the deal than he ultimately did.