For most teams, when the Stanley Cup is lifted, it's time to start looking at the following season. Most franchises will offer their star players massive contract extensions or look to make trades for other star men.
In hockey, players can sign deals that do not replace the current salary they are on. In September 2022, Nathan MacKinnon agreed to an eight-year extension worth over $100 million. That deal did not activate until the end of the 2022-23 season. Now, MacKinnon is the highest-paid NHL player in the league.
Thanks to Spotrac for providing the top salaries of the players this year, we can examine the players earning the most money in the NHL. With the season set to start soon, this list could change if a team pries away a superstar.
10. Carey Price / Jonathan Huberdeau
Tied for tenth position amongst this year’s top-earners in the NHL are Carey Price and Jonathan Huberdeau. Price is a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens contracted until 2026. The deal included a $70 million signing bonus and $84 million guaranteed. Injuries have not been kind to Price, who is not expected to play in the 2023-24 season.
Huberdeau plays on the left wing for the Calgary Flames. He signed an eight-year contract with a 61.5 million dollar signing bonus. His base salary is $3.5 million a year, with the rest of his yearly cash coming from the singing bonus. Huberdeau will make $10.5 this year and will continue to do so until 2031.
|Carey Price||Jonathan Huberdeau|
|Cap Hit:||$10,500,000||Cap Hit:||$10,500,000|
|Base Salary:||$2,000,000||Base Salary:||$3,500,000|
|Signing Bonus:||$6,500,000||Signing Bonus:||$7,000,000|
|Yearly Cash:||$8,500,000||Yearly Cash:||$10,500,000|
9. Mitchell Marner
Mitchell Marner signed a six-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. The deal had over 60 million dollars for a signing bonus and over $65 million guaranteed. Marner will earn around $400,000 more than the players tied for tenth on the list of the highest-paid NHL players. He plays on the right wing and will become a free agent in 2025 unless he signs a new deal.
7. Drew Doughty / John Tavares
Defenseman Drew Doughty signed an eight-year contract in 2019 with the Los Angeles Kings. The deal had a $20 million signing bonus and nearly $90m guaranteed. Having such a small signing bonus means Doughty won’t receive a bonus for the rest of his contract, which expires in 2027. He will receive a base salary of 11 million dollars, the seventh highest in the NHL.
John Tavares is a center for the Toronto Maple Leafs, meaning there are three Leafs players on the list of NHL top earners. Tavares also earns $11 million a year, most of which is from the signing bonus. His deal had both over $70 million for his singing bonus and his guarantees. His current deal expires in 2025 when he will become a free agent.
|Drew Doughty||John Tavares|
|Cap Hit:||$11,000,000||Cap Hit:||$11,000,000|
|Base Salary:||$11,000,000||Base Salary:||$910,000|
|Signing Bonus:||$0||Signing Bonus:||$7,040,000|
|Yearly Cash:||$11,000,000||Yearly Cash:||$7,950,000|
6. David Pastrňák
David Pastrňák plays on the right wing for the Boston Bruins. His new contract kicks into effect this season, an eight-year deal worth around $90 million. His annual salary of $11,250,000 is the sixth-highest in the NFL this season. The 27-year-old Czech international will remain with the Bruins until 2031 after his outrageous performance last season.
5. Erik Karlsson
The fifth highest-paid NHL player is defenseman Erik Karlsson. The former San Jose Sharks player had a supreme 2022-23 season, earning him a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He signed an eight-year deal with the Sharks in 2019 and will run until 2027 with the Penguins. This season, his base salary is worth $10.5 million, and he has a signing bonus of $11.5 million.
4. Auston Matthews
The highest-paid Maple Leafs player on our list is Auston Matthews. He entered the final year of his original five-year contract, worth just under $60 million. The new four-year extension will come into effect in 2024 and is worth just over $50m. Matthews signed the new deal in late August, securing his spot in Toronto until 2028. His next contract sees his Cap Hit rise from $11.6 million to $13.2 million. Unless someone else signs a new deal, Matthews will become the highest-paid player in the NHL next season.
- Position: Center
- Age: 26
- Cap Hit: $11,640,250
- Base Salary: $750,000
- Signing Bonus: $7,200,000
- Yearly Cash: $7,950,000
3. Artemi Panarin
Artemi Panarin is a left winger for the New York Rangers. He signed a seven-year contract with the Rangers in 2019, a deal that was worth over $81 million. The contract expires in 2026, meaning Panarin has three more seasons of earning over $11 million a year. Panarin will be 32 this season, meaning getting a new contract in 2026 will be unlikely. For now, he remains the highest-paid player on the left wing in the NHL.
2. Connor McDavid
The highest-paid NHL player last season is now the second-biggest earner in the league this year. Connor McDavid signed a humongous eight-year deal in 2018 worth a guaranteed $100 million. He is now in his sixth year of the deal, which expires in 2026. McDavid has a Cap Hit of $12.5 million and a base salary of $1,000,000. When his contract nears the expiration date in three years, McDavid could sign a new deal and become the best-paid player in the NHL again.
1. Nathan MacKinnon
The new highest-paid NHL player for the season is Nathan MacKinnon. The Colorado Avalanche superstar signed a deal worth over $100 million in eight years. He will remain with the Avalanche until 2031 when his current deal expires. MacKinnon will earn a base salary of $775,00 in the first year of his new contract. However, with a signing bonus of $15.7 million, he overtook McDavid for the top spot this season.
Unless a major deal happens before the start of the new NHL season, MacKinnon will remain the biggest earner in the NHL. His large signing bonus will change throughout his contract, with it dropping to three million in 2026. Whatever happens, MacKinnon has $100 million guaranteed for the next eight NHL seasons.
The highest-paid NHL players this season include Artemi Panarin, Connor McDavid, and Nathan MacKinnon. As with every list at Bet Station, we will keep everything updated with the latest information. If you want to want more hockey content, you can check out our list of the worst hockey players ever or the best ice hockey fights.