Here’s Daily Faceoff’s projection for Nick Bjugstad’s next contract
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis6 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers have one player on Daily Faceoff’s Top 50 Free Agents list heading into the 2023 off-season — Nick Bjugstad, who’s ranked No. 44.
The Oilers acquired Bjugstad along with minor-league defenceman Cam Dineen from the Arizona Coyotes ahead of the March 3 trade deadline in exchange for prospect Michael Kesselring and Edmonton’s third-round pick in the 2023 draft.
A few days earlier, the Oilers had moved Jesse Puljujarvi to the Carolina Hurricanes as a salary cap dump to help open up space to acquire Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators. Getting Bjugstad gave the Oilers a big, right-handed forward to fill Puljujarvi’s role up front at a much smaller cap hit.
Bjugstad was a solid depth player for the Oilers down the stretch and into the playoffs. He scored four goals and six points over 19 regular-season games and three goals over 12 playoff games while becoming one of the team’s top options on the penalty kill.
Since the six-year, $24.6 million deal he signed with the Florida Panthers all the way back in 2014 expired, Bjugstad inked one-year deals in free agency in back-to-back years. He signed a one-year, $900k deal with the Minnesota Wild in 2021 and signed an identical one-year pact with the Coyotes last summer.
Bjugstad scored 17 goals and 29 points over 78 games between the Coyotes and Oilers in 2022-23, which represents his highest total in both categories since the Panthers traded him away in the middle of the 2018-19 season. Given that performance, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Bjugstad should be able to command a larger deal in free agency this summer than the two one-year deals he inked with Minnesota and Arizona.
Daily Faceoff’s projection for Bjugstad’s next deal (based on his production, age, and what other similar players have signed for in recent years) is two years at $2.3 million annually.
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