Highest Paid Hockey Player

Highest Paid Hockey Player In 2023

In this article, we uncover the world’s highest-paid hockey player and the financial powerhouses that make ice hockey more than just a game.

Who is the highest-paid hockey player?

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche is the highest-paid hockey player in the NHL.

He is getting paid $16,500,000 in 2023 and has an average annual salary (cap hit) of $12,600,000 per year.

What Is The Highest Paid NHL Player In 2023?

The highest-paid NHL player is Nathan MacKinnon with a cap hit of $12.6 million per year. He also has the highest total salary in 2023 at $16.5 million.

The average annual salary, also known as the “cap hit”, is a metric calculated by taking the contract’s total value (including signing bonuses) and dividing it by the number of years over which the contract takes place.

The cap hit is the most accurate measurement of the “highest-paid hockey player.”

There is another metric known as “average annual value” (AAV) which sometimes gets tossed around. The AAV is simply the cap hit + potential performance bonuses.

5 Highest Average Annual Salary

The most accurate measurement of a player’s compensation is the “average annual salary”, also known as the “cap hit.”

These are the top 5 highest paid hockey players based on their average annual salaries:

PlayerAverage Annual Salary
Nathan MacKinnon$12,600,000
Connor McDavid$12,500,000
Artemi Panarin$11,642,857
Auston Matthews$11,640,250
Erik Karlsson$11,500,000
5 Highest Paid Hockey Players – Average Annual Salary

5 Highest Salaries In 2023

Another way to look at highest highest-paid hockey hockey players is by analyzing the exact amount they are getting paid this year (2023).

This calculation can be misleading, however, because theoretically, a player could sign a 7-year, 26-million dollar contract in which they get paid 20 million dollars in the first year (2023), then 1 million dollars every year after that.

This would lead to an average annual salary of only ~$3.7 million per year. But according to their salary in the first year (2023), they would be considered the “highest-paid hockey player.”

With that disclaimer aside, here are the highest-paid hockey players based on their 2023 salary:

Player2023 Salary
Nathan MacKinnon$16,500,000
David Pastrnak$13,000,000
Dougie Hamilton$12,600,000
Kirill Kaprizov$12,500,000
Alex Ovechkin$12,500,000
5 Highest Paid Hockey Players – 2023 Salary

5 Highest Contract Values Ever

The contract value is the total amount of money that will be paid out throughout the contract.

In this case, a one-year, twenty-million dollar contract would have the same contract value as a twenty-year, one-million dollar contract. Even though we know that the former is a lot more valuable.

Here are the biggest NHL contracts ever, based on total contract value:

PlayerContract Value
Shea Weber$110,000,000
Sidney Crosby$104,400,000
Nathan MacKinnon$100,800,000
Connor McDavid$100,000,000
Erik Karlsson$92,000,000
5 Highest Paid Hockey Players – Contract Value

What Is The Max Hockey Player Salary?

The maximum amount that a player can get paid in the NHL is 20% of the current NHL salary cap. In 2023, this equates to $16.7 million.

The rule regarding max salary is outlined in section 50.6 of the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement:

“No standard player contract (SPC) may provide for a total aggregate player salary and bonus that is in excess of 20 percent of the salary cap for any league year.”

NHL CBA – Section 50.6

What Is The Salary Cap In The NHL 2023?

The 2023 salary cap in the NHL is $83.5 million.

This means that the max hockey player salary allowed in 2023 is 20 percent of $83.5 million, or $16.7 million, for any single player – per rule 50.6 of the NHL CBA.

What Is The Minimum Salary In The NHL?

The minimum salary in the NHL in 2023~2024 is $775,000.

The NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was originally approved in January 2013 and later extended in July 2020, has seen a gradual increase in the minimum salary for players.

For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, the minimum salary rose from $700,000 to $750,000 as per this agreement.

Furthermore, the CBA outlines that the minimum salary is set to remain at $775,000 for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 seasons.

This extended CBA is slated to remain in effect until September 15, 2026.

How Much Did Gretzky Make A Year?

Wayne Gretzky’s earnings in the NHL were emblematic of the evolving landscape of player compensation.

His annual salary reached a pinnacle at $6.5 million during the 1997-98 season, a groundbreaking moment in professional sports.

Over the nine seasons from 1989-90 through 1998-99, he accumulated a total of $43,268,428 in salary, reflecting his profound influence on the financial aspects of the game and his enduring legacy as a hockey legend.





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