The Edmonton Oilers have two massive contracts to negotiate this summer, with Connor McDavid’s reportedly done the focus moves to Leon Draisaitl.
Oilersnation colleague Cam Lewis looked at Draisaitl’s next contract in a previous post. At that time Draisaitl was 25th in league scoring with 25 points, but he would end up within the top 10 and score 16 points in 13 playoff games.
Could Draisaitl really get around $9 million a season, especially if McDavid makes over $13 million a year?
DRAISAITL VS OTHERS
To find out what similar players earned, I searched for players that scored within 20 percent of Draisaitl’s last two seasons. I excluded his rookie year since he played 12 minutes a night and will only use the last two seasons before a player signed their big contract. This selection includes players scoring around 55-points a season (0.67 points per game) and as high as 80-points a season (0.99 points per game), which represents Draisaitl’s last two years nicely. I also used contracts signed within five years as they were signed around a similar cap climate.
|Player||Age||PPG||Cap Hit||% of Salary Cap||Years|
Draisaitl has some strong company, including some current and past Edmonton Oilers.
If the Oilers want to sign Draisaitl for eight years like McDavid then Vladimir Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov are the closest matches.
Tarasenko was two years older than Draisaitl when he signed, but was a better goal scorer and also had four years of restricted free agency left compared to Draisaitl’s five (Draisaitl was sent before he could accrue one season towards unrestricted free agency his rookie season).
Kuznetsov’s new deal is a nice comparable for Edmonton. Kuznetsov is older but has been playing centre full-time for Washington. He only had two years left until unrestricted free agency, whereas Draisaitl has five.
The Mark Scheifele contract is great, but the Jets signed him after he scored 61 points in 71 games in 2015-16 and went long term before he had his 80-point year.
Johnny Gaudreau and with Calgary settled on a six-year deal worth $6.75 million per year just before the beginning of the season. Unlike Draisaitl, Gaudreau wasn’t eligible for an offer sheet, so he was at the mercy of the Flames.
Jordan Eberle is an interesting name. He scored similarly to Draisaitl and was only one year older, but shot 18.9% the year he had 76 points (Draisaitl shot 16.9% last season). The Oilers signed him the same summer as Taylor Hall, with matching $6 million cap hits. Eberle wasn’t the 70-point super sniper they thought and would settle around the 60-point range.
None of these players broke $8 million a year, let alone $9 million. Kuznetsov got the highest percentage of the salary cap when he signed at 10.4%. Maybe Draisaitl gets a bit of a bump and creeps into the $8 million range due to his age, although Edmonton has a lot of restricted years left, Washington was buying more unrestricted years with Kuznetsov.
Draisaitl’s been a pretty good scorer, so maybe there are more comparable scorers if we go back five years further. We’ll look from 2006-11 as well.
|Player||Age||PPG||Cap Hit||% of Salary Cap||Years|
Anze Kopitar is a common player comparison for Draisaitl. Kopitar had a stronger resume as a full-time centre and got a seven-year deal at the beginning of his third season.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are close to Draisaitl and their 11.09% of the salary cap would mean $8.3 million per year contracts today. Although, those deals were signed when the cap was rising rapidly.
Thomas Vanek’s contract was given to him by the Oilers and has the highest percentage of the salary cap here in an attempt to steal him via an offer sheet back in 2007.
There’s a few more players here that make a contract around $8 million more believable. Kopitar’s second contract today would be close to $9 million today, but he was much more proven as a scorer and as a centre than Draisaitl was. Kopitar also had one less year of restricted service owed.
WHAT ABOUT MCDAVID?
Wonder what 97 at 13.25 would mean for Draisaitl negotiation. Comps probly put him in 7-8 range but 5m less than 97 could be tough sell.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 28, 2017
If Connor McDavid is making $13.25 million, how can Draisaitl make almost $5 million less per year than his Edmonton teammate? Well, McDavid is just that good. McDavid’s comparables were basically Crosby, Ovechkin, and Malkin. All are arguable generation talents. McDavid got a similar percentage of the cap as Crosby, but the extra three years on his contract is the big win for Edmonton.
There’s a lot of Crosby and Malkin comparisons for McDavid and Draisaitl, but Draisaitl isn’t Malkin.
Malkin scored 1.19 points per game in the two seasons before signing his second contract. Draisaitl has 0.83 points per game. Draisaitl is a great player, but comparisons to McDavid, or even Malkin, aren’t fair. McDavid is a unique scenario and his contract shouldn’t affect Draisaitl’s.
There’s not a real case for Draisaitl to get a contract over $9 million. Based on previous players, a contract around $7.5-8 million would make the most sense. The Oilers will have likely overpaid if the annual average value gets close to $9 million.