Leon Draisaitl reminds me of an endless group of big centermen my mind can recall. Peter Mahovlich had some of the same elements, 29’s size and skill are similar to same-age Anze Kopitar, and those hands and passes remind of Jumbo Joe.
But what does our dear friend math tell us? Let’s ask hockey-reference.
This is sorted using the following: years 2000-17; years one through three of career; 150 or more games and sorted by points-per-game. The best player in the group is the defenseman, but the other men listed are quality players and if Draisaitl follows the career path of the collective (while avoiding injury) suspect we’ll be talking about the McDavid-Draisaitl years in the same fashion we talk about he who shall not be named and that other guy who is in in the HHOF.
HOW MUCH SHOULD LEON BE PAID?
I’ll let the experts do the figuring but my guess is that $7.5-8.0 million is fair to a little rich over an eight-year deal. Leon is a fine player, top 10 in scoring, but there are things about his season (playing with Connor McDavid, feature power-play time) that have to be acknowledged. That said, he is a big part of a team inside the window to win and he would be giving up several years of unrestricted free agency.
HOW MUCH WILL LEON BE PAID?
Let’s say the Oilers want the contract to come in around $7.5 million and use Vladimir Tarasenko as a comparable. Let’s say LD’s agent says that contract was signed two years ago, Draisaitl is worth more. Seems to me, if there’s a delay in getting a deal signed, the gap is wider than $1 million (they could settle on $8 million tonight if my premise was true) and we may end up in a staring contest.
That could be bad, Draisaitl surely has fans among the other 30 general managers and some of those men could be interested in getting a big skill center for just money (and future picks).
WHEN WILL IT END?
Peter Chiarelli has some pressure to get this done, Connor McDavid’s deal was the big one but you want both men in camp and happy this fall. I’ll bet the contract is eight years, the annual hit starts with the number eight and we see a media avail announcing both contracts before this time next week.