Top 10 Highest Paid NHL Players
NHL players have several numerical figures which represent their finances, including cap hit and salary. The cap hit is the most important figure for the team, because the sum of every players’ cap hit on a team makes up the team cap hit, which may not exceed a certain value.
A player’s cap hit is consistent throughout the duration of his contract, and is the quotient of the total money divided by the number of years (a 5 year, $30 million contract would have a cap hit of $6 million per year).
Alternatively, a player’s salary is quite different. NHL players’ salaries can fluctuate from year to year during their contract, and most NHL players decide to “front-load” their contract with a higher salary during the first few years. The salary represents the money that players are actually given for their services. This piece focuses on the highest paid players based on annual salaries for 2022-2023.
Who are the highest paid NHL players in the world?
- Tyler Seguin - $13,000,000
- Artemi Panarin - $12,500,000
- Darnell Nurse - $12,000,000
- Erik Karlsson - $12,000,000
- Connor McDavid - $12,000,000
- Aleksander Barkov - $12,000,000
- Sergei Bobrovsky - $12,000,00
- Adam Fox - $11,000,000
- Drew Doughty - $11,000,000
- Andrei Vasilevskiy - $11,000,000
1. Tyler Seguin - $13,000,000
Tyler Seguin has the highest salary of all NHL players for the 2022-23 season. Seguin’s contract pays him $78,800,000 over 8 years, for an average of $9,850,000 per year. However, the salary of NHL contracts often fluctuate by year, and Seguin’s certainly does. Seguin will make just $6.75 million in 2026-27, and he made $13.5 million in 2019-20– all on the same contract!
2. Artemi Panarin - $12,500,000
Artemi Panarin signed a seven-year deal with the New York Rangers on July 1st, 2019. Panarin made $14 million in 2019-20, and $13 million in both 2020-21 and 2021-22. Panarin’s deal pays him a bit less as it goes on: Panarin will make 12.5, 11, 10, and 8 million dollars in his final four years, respectively.
This season, 2022-23, is the final season of this deal where Panarin’s salary will be greater than his cap-hit. For the next 3 years, Panarin will make $11 million or less, while his cap hit will stay fixed at about $11.6 million.
3. Darnell Nurse - $12,000,000
On August 6th, 2021, Darnell Nurse signed an eight-year, $74 million extension with the Edmonton Oilers. 2022-23 is the first year of Nurse’s new contract, and consequently is the year in which Nurse is paid the highest salary: $12,000,000. Nurse will make $10.4 million in 2023-24, before once again earning $12 million in 2024-25. Nurses’ lowest earnings on this contract will come in the last 3 years, when he collects just $7.2 million per season.
4. Erik Karlsson - $12,000,000
Erik Karlsson has the highest AAV of any defenseman in NHL history, with a yearly cap hit of $11.5 million, and will make $12,000,000 in 2022-2023. Karlsson’s $92 million, eight-year deal was signed with the Sharks in June of 2019. In 2019-20, the first year of this contract, Karlsson had a salary of $14.5 million! As Karlsson’s deal goes on, he gets paid progressively less, with the exception of a $2.5 million uptick from his 2020-21 salary to his 2021-22 salary.
In 2026-27, Karlsson will earn $7.5 million, which is his lowest annual salary over the course of the contract.
5. Connor McDavid - $12,000,000
Connor McDavid has the highest active cap hit of any NHL player, at $12.5 million, and will make $12 million in 2022-2023. Nathan Mackinnon recently signed a deal with a $12.6 million cap hit, but that deal does not begin until the start of the 2023-24 season.
Despite McDavid leading the way in annual average, his actual salary for the 2022-23 NHL season is lowever, at $12 million. That puts McDavid in a 5-way tie for 3rd place, with Darnell Nurse, Erik Karlsson, Aleksander Barkov, and Sergei Bobrovsky.
6. Aleksander Barkov - $12,000,000
Barkov is yet another NHL superstar being paid $12,000,000 in 2022-23. Barkov’s $80 million, eight-year deal is nice and clean: it will pay the Finnish centerman $10 million per year on average. However, Barkov’s salary fluctuates annually, as do most NHL salaries. Barkov will be paid $12 million annually for the first 3 years of the deal, $11.6 million, $10 million, and $8 million over the next 3 years, and $7.2 million in each of the final two years.
7. Sergei Bobrovsky - $12,000,000
Sergei Bobrovsky is the first goaltender to appear on this list, thanks to the large contract Florida offered Bobrovsky in 2019. Florida’s deal for the Russian puckstopper is seven years long, and has an annual cap hit of $10 million. Bobrovsky is currently in the fourth year of his deal, and will make $12 million this season.
Bobrovsky’s deal is heavily front-loaded, paying him $47.5 million over the first 4 years, and then $22.5 million over the last 3 years.
8. Adam Fox - $11,000,000
Adam Fox signed a seven-year, $66.5 million deal on November 1st, 2021, and will make $11 million in 2022-2023. His contract carries a cap hit of $9.5 million.
Fox’s deal is set to pay him significantly more money in the first few years, seeing him receive $12 million annually in his 2nd and 3rd year under contract. His deal also comes with a no move clause (NMC) in 2025-2026 and 2026-27, and a modified no trade clause (NTC) in the last two seasons of the deal.
9. Drew Doughty - $11,000,000
Drew Doughty has one of the biggest contracts in the league: $88 million over eight years, for a cap hit of $11 million. One interesting feature of Doughty’s contract is that his salary matches his cap hit for 6 of the 8 seasons on his contract. This is unusual in the NHL, as players typically prefer to stagger their salary, earning more money the first few years.
Instead, Doughty’s salary only varies in the first two seasons. In 2019-20, he was paid $12 million. In 2020-21, he made $10 million. Then, over the next 6 seasons from 2021 to 2027, Doughty’s salary is $11 million.
10. Andrei Vasilevskiy - $11,000,000
Andre Vasilevskiy is the final athlete on this list, and is also the final NHL player making $11 million in the 2022-23 season. Vasilevskiy’s contract, signed in July of 2019, carries a cap hit of $9.5 million.
Vasilevskiy’s highest paid year of the contract was the first one: 2020-21, when he made $12 million. For 2021-22 and 2022-23 Vasilevskiy is awarded $11 million, each. Then, over the next 5 seasons Vasilevskiy’s contract will bounce around between $6 million and $10 million.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson - $10,500,000
- Kirill Kaprizov - $10,000,000
- Zachary Werenski - $10,000,000
- Timo Meier - $10,000,000
- Jack Eichel - $10,000,000
- Alex Ovechkin - $10,000,000
- Mathew Barzal - $10,000,000
- Nick Suzuki - $10,000,000
- Filip Forsberg - $10,000,000
- Seth Jones - $10,000,000
Who is the highest paid NHL Player?
There are a lot of ways to measure the highest paid NHL player. For example, Tyler Seguin is the highest paid NHL player in the 2022-23 NHL season. However, Seguin’s overall contract pales in comparison to Connor McDavid’s $100 million contract, which pays him almost $3 million more per year. However, starting in 2023-24, Nathan Mackinnon will boast the highest annual average, raking in $12.6 per year over his 8 year deal.