How Much Do Hockey Players Make?

How Much Do Hockey Players Make?

Delving into the financial dynamics of professional hockey, this article explores the diverse earnings of players, dissecting the factors that shape their salaries, from contracts and endorsements to the evolving landscape of negotiations.

How much do hockey players make?

On average, NHL players make $2.18M a year and $14.9M in their career.

However, these numbers don’t paint a complete picture. Because most NHL players actually earn less than average.

How Much Money Does A Professional Hockey Player Make?

On average, NHL players make $2.2M a year.

Currently, the highest-paid player is Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche. He is making $16.5M in 2023.

Average NHL Salary - How Much Do Professional Hockey Players Make?

However, the distribution of salaries is not normal. It is heavily skewed towards star players, with the top 29% of NHL players taking home 71% of the league’s total salary.

Every NHL Player Makes At Least $775,000

Every NHL player, who plays in the NHL is required to get paid at least $775,000. This is the lower bound of what is known as the “entry-level contract.”

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can play one NHL game and get paid $775,000 for the year, because these “entry-level contracts” are “two-way deals.”

What Is A Two-Way Deal?

A two-way deal is a contract that stipulates that a player will receive a different salary, depending on the league they are playing in.

In terms of a two-way, entry-level contract, a player will get $775,000 as long as they are playing in the NHL. But if they get sent down to the minors, they will receive a lower salary.

What Is A One-Way Deal?

A one-way deal is a contract where the player’s salary is fixed no matter where they play.

A player signed to a $1M, one-way deal will get paid $1M, regardless of if they get sent to the minors or not.

From a player’s standpoint, a one-way deal is much better than a two-way deal.

What Is The Average NHL Career Earnings?

The average NHL career earnings is $14.9M. This metric is based on all of the players who played in the 2013 NHL season and have since retired.

Currently, the highest estimated career earnings belongs to a player who is still active: Sidney Crosby.

Crosby’s estimated career earnings are at $153M.

Average NHL Career Earnings Chart

Similar to average salaries in the NHL, the average career earnings of NHL players follows a Pareto distribution, with 24% of players accounting for 76% of all career earnings.

~70% of players have earned less than $14.9M in their careers.

And the top 11% of players combined, have the same career earnings as the bottom 89%.

The player with the highest estimated career earnings of any retired player from the 2013 season is Jaromír Jágr, with an estimated career earnings of $128M.

Here are the top five career earners since 2013. Note that this only includes players who have since retired:

PlayerCareer Earnings
Jaromir Jagr$128M
Vincent Lacavalier$116M
Jonathan Towes$116M
Chris Pronger$111M
Joe Thorton$111M
Highest NHL career earnings – players retired since 2013.





Leave a Reply