Top 10 Biggest NHL Winger Contracts

top 10 biggest nhl winger contracts

Wingers are a crucial part of any hockey team, responsible for the majority of the scoring. Having a strong center is important, but without competent wings, an offensive line can never succeed. This piece lists the top 10 biggest contracts signed by NHL wingers of all time.

What are the biggest NHL Winger Contracts of All Time?

  1. Alex Ovechkin - $124,000,000
  2. Ilya Kovalchuk - $100,000,000
  3. Zach Parise - $98,000,000
  4. Vincent Lecavalier - $85,000,000
  5. Patrick Kane - $84,000,000
  6. Jonathan Huberdeau - $84,000,000
  7. Artemi Panarin - $81,500,000
  8. Matthew Tkachuk - $76,000,000
  9. Jamie Benn - $76,000,000
  10. Mark Stone - $76,000,000

1. Alex Ovechkin - $124,000,000

Alexander Ovechkin’s record-setting contract was signed in 2008; the terms of the contract were 13 years and $124 million. Ovechkin was drafted first overall by the Washington Capitals in 2004. Ovechkin, nicknamed “Ovi” or “The Great 8,” has spent his entire career with Washington.

Ovechkin’s contract is the biggest NHL contract ever, with Shea Weber’s contract coming in $14 million behind Ovechkin’s. Ovechkin won one Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018. Ovi won the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP that year.

2. Ilya Kovalchuk - $100,000,000

Ilya Kovalchuk signed a 15-year, $100 million contract in September 2010. This monstrous contract should have employed Kovalchuk through the 2024-25 season, but he decided to leave the NHL in favor of the KHL following the 2012-13 season. As a result, Kovalchuk lost out on a huge sum of money for not honoring his contract.

Kovalchuk returned to the NHL in 2018, signing a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings. He was not as much of a dominant force when he returned, with his prime days well behind him. He went on to play for the Canadiens and Capitals before retiring from the NHL after the 2019-20 season.

3. Zach Parise - $98,000,000

Next up is Zach Parise, with a 13-year, $98 million deal. Parise was a teammate of Ilya Kovalchuk’s in New Jersey. Parise was drafted by the Devils, 17th overall in 2003. He spent three seasons with the Devils before signing a massive deal with Minnesota in 2012.

Parise signed the deal at the same time that Ryan Suter, the other big free agent in 2012, signed with Minnesota. The two of them both got 13-year deals with Minnesota, with matching price tags.

4. Vincent Lecavalier - $85,000,000

The contract Tampa Bay bought Vincent Lecavalier out of was the same one that earned him a spot on this list: an 11-year, $85 million deal. Lecavalier was the number one pick all the way back in 1998, as he was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lecavalier played with Tampa Bay from 1998-99 to 2012-13: 15 seasons. He then signed with Philadelphia in 2013 after being bought out by Tampa Bay. Lecavalier was traded to Los Angeles in 2015-16 and finished his career with the Kings.

5. Patrick Kane - $84,000,000

Patrick Kane signed an eight-year, $84 million contract in 2014. He was drafted first overall in 2007 by the Chicago Blackhawks. Kane has spent his entire NHL career with the Blackhawks, though he may be traded in the near future.

Kane won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015 with Chicago. After two Stanley Cup titles, Chicago had clearly seen enough: they inked him to his current contract. Kane is currently in fifth place among American scoring leaders, with 1181 points in 1108 games.

6. Jonathan Huberdeau - $84,000,000

Jonathan Huberdeau has an eight-year, $84 million contract. Huberdeau was drafted third overall by the Florida Panthers in 2011. He was recently involved in a blockbuster trade that sent him, teammate Mackenzie Weegar, and a first-round pick to Calgary in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk. 

After the trade, the Flames and Huberdeau agreed to terms on his current contract. The deal will pay Huberdeau an annual average of $10.5 million and will employ him through the 2030-31 NHL season. 

7. Artemi Panarin - $81,500,000

Artemi Panarin spent two years with Columbus and then departed via free agency; he signed with the New York Rangers, inking a seven-year, $81.5 million contract on July 1, 2019. Panarin is the only player on this list who went undrafted. He was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 after spending time in the KHL. Chicago shocked the hockey world in 2017 when they traded Panarin to Columbus for a measly return. 

8. Matthew Tkachuk - $76,000,000

Matthew Tkachuk has an eight-year $76 million contract. Tkachuk was the main attraction of a recent blockbuster trade, which saw Huberdeau, Mackenzie Weegar, and a first-round pick go back the other way. Tkachuk was drafted 6th overall in 2016 by the Calgary Flames after playing for the London Knights of the OHL. 

Tkachuk had a fabulous 2021-22 NHL season, scoring 42 goals and 104 points. His Flames were eventually knocked out by Connor McDavid and the Oilers in the second round of the playoffs. 

Johnny Gaudreau left the Flames in the following offseason, catalyzing a major restructure in Calgary. Tkachuk was traded less than a month later. 

9. Jamie Benn - $76,000,000

Jamie Benn has an eight-year, $76 million contract. Benn has had an impressive NHL career, especially considering that he was drafted in the fifth round in 2007. Benn has spent his entire career with Dallas, from 2007-08 to 2021-22. The 2022-23 season will be Benn’s 14th NHL season. 

Benn signed his deal in July of 2016 after leading the league in points in 2014-15 and coming second in points in 2015-16. As a result, he was able to negotiate a large contract 

10. Mark Stone - $76,000,000

Mark Stone has an eight-year $76 million deal with Las Vegas. Stone was drafted later than anybody else on this list – not including Artemi Panarin, who went undrafted. Stone was selected 178th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2010. He spent his first six NHL seasons in Ottawa before being traded to the Vegas Golden Knights midway through his seventh season. 

About two weeks after the trade, Stone was signed to an eight-year contract. Stone is a fantastic defensive forward: he came in second place in Selke voting, for the league’s best defensive forward, in 2018-19. He also was the second runner-up for the Selke Trophy in 2020-21. 

Honorable Mentions

  • Nikita Kucherov
  • Henrik Zetterberg
  • Jeff Skinner
  • Alexei Yashin
  • Corey Perry
  • Johnny Gaudreau
  • Filip Forsberg
  • Jakub Voracek
  • Mitchell Marner
  • Philip Kessel

FAQ

Who has the biggest NHL Winger contract currently?

The largest active NHL winger contract belongs to Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. The American phenom signed the deal as a 25-year-old, in 2014. Kane’s deal carries an annual average of $10.5 million and runs through the 2022-23 NHL season. 

Who has the biggest NHL Winger contract of all time?

Alex Ovechkin has the biggest all-time contract by any NHL winger. Ovechkin’s 13-year, $124 million deal came with an average salary of $9.54 million. The contract is not massive on a yearly salary basis: Ovechkin actually makes more per year now, as a 37-year-old, than he did on this record-setting deal. However, the 13-year length of the deal allowed it to exceed the value of any other contract.