Ranking the Highest-Paid NHL Players for 2022-23

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FILE - Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) attempts a shot during the second period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, June 20, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
Gary Pearson @newagejourno May 13, 2023, 9:21 AM
  • Three Toronto Maple Leafs are on the top-10 earners’ list.
  • Seven of the 10 top earners are forwards.
  • Carey Price is the only goaltender on the list.

Most of the NHL’s highest earners are franchise players who consistently register show-stopping offensive numbers.

In terms of NHL betting, prop bets have become increasingly popular in recent years. 

The top-10 NHL earners usually provide excellent subjects for prop bets, as they routinely sit atop the league’s scoring chart. 

Unsurprisingly, these highly paid superstars earn bucket-loads more than the average yearly NHL salary and garbage trucks more than NHL referees, who are still compensated handsomely. 

Highest-Paid NHL Players 

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, Nathan MacKinnon signed a contract making him the NHL’s highest-paid player. 

The 2021-22 Stanley Cup winner put pen to paper on an eight-year, $100.8 million deal, meaning the 27-year-old will earn $12.6 million yearly, $100,000 more than the Oilers’ Connor McDavid.

RankPlayerTeamYearly Salary
1Nathan MacKinnonAvalanche$12.6 million
2Connor McDavidOilers$12.5 million
3Artemi PanarinRangers$11.642 million
4Auston MatthewsMaple Leafs$11.64 million
5Erik Karlsson Sharks$11.5 million
6Leon DraisaitlOilers$11.33 million
7(t)John TavaresMaple Leafs$11 million
7(t)Drew DoughtyKings$11 million
9Mitchell MarnerMaple Leafs$10.9 million
10Carey PriceCanadiens$10.5 million

10. Carey Price 

Team: Montreal Canadiens 

Salary: $10.5 million annually

This excerpt will make for harrowing reading if you’re a Habs fan. Carey Price will earn $10.5 million annually until the end of the 2024-25 season. That’s a lot of money for somebody not expected to play for at least another year, potentially longer. 

The Canadiens recently announced Price probably wouldn’t return in 2022-23 after hearing distressing news about his chronic knee injury, which requires further surgery. 

9. Mitch Marner 

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Salary: $10.9 million annually

Mitch Marner is one of three Maple Leafs on the top-10 earners’ list. He signed a six-year, $65.408 million deal on Sept. 13, 2019. The diminutive forward notched 97 points in 72 games last season and was the NHL’s 10th-leading scorer. 

He beat his previous career best by three points, achieved in 2018-19. Marner will be 28 years old when his contract expires in 2025. 

8. Drew Doughty 

Team: Los Angeles Kings

Salary: $11 million annually

Drew Doughty is one of two defensemen on the highest-paid list. The Kings’ franchise player signed an eight-year, $88 million deal on July 1, 2018, which amounts to 13% of the Kings’ salary cap. 

The 32-year-old was injured for over half of the 2021-22 season and the playoffs but will return for the upcoming campaign. Doughty led the Kings to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014, a key contributor to his mammoth 2018 contract extension.  

7. John Tavares 

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Salary: $11 million annually

Tavares inked a seven-year, $77 million deal with the Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018. The 32-year-old will be 35 when his contract expires. Tavares, Marner, and Auston Matthews absorb 41% of Toronto’s yearly salary cap.

6. Leon Draisaitl

Team: Edmonton Oilers 

Salary: $11.33 million annually

On Aug. 16, 2017, Leon Draisaitl signed an eight-year, $68 million deal with the Oilers. 

And boy, has he ever repaid the franchise for their faith in him. Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy in 2020, was fourth in NHL scoring last season, second in 2020-21, first in 2019-20, and fourth in 2018-19. 

5. Erik Karlsson

Team: San Jose Sharks 

Salary: $11.5 million annually

Traded to San Jose from Ottawa in September 2018, Erik Karlsson was considered the final puzzle piece required to lead the Sharks to their first Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, it hasn’t panned out that way. 

Karlsson signed an eight-year, $92 million deal with San Jose on June 17, 2019, a season after he arrived from the Senators. The 32-year-old’s contract doesn’t expire until the end of the 2027 season.

4. Auston Matthews

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Salary: $11.64 million annually

The reigning Hart Trophy winner signed his five-year, $58.195 million contract with the Leafs on Feb. 5, 2019. He has a season and a half left on his contract, after which he’ll almost certainly sign a new deal making him the highest-paid player. 

3. Artemi Panarin

Team: New York Rangers

Salary: $11.642 million annually

Artemi Panarin, nicknamed the Bread Man, earns $11.642 million annually. He committed to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract on July 1, 2019. That gives the Bread Man another four years at that rate. 

Panarin notched a career-best 96 points last season, one point better than his previous best, set in 2019-20.

2. Connor McDavid

Team: Edmonton Oilers

Salary: $12.5 million annually

If anyone deserves $12.5 million annually, it’s McDavid. The Oilers superstar is the best hockey player on the planet. His dominance is absolute, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds a way to drag Edmonton to a Stanley Cup triumph. 

McDavid is already a two-time Hart Trophy winner and will almost assuredly pick up his third at some point. The 25-year-old signed an eight-year, $100 million contract on July 5, 2017.  

1. Nathan MacKinnon

Team: Colorado Avalanche

Salary: $12.6 million annually

MacKinnon just signed a contract that nudged him ahead of McDavid as the league’s highest earner. He has played his entire career with the Avs, and while he hasn’t won the Hart, Art Ross, or Rocket Richard Trophies, he was influential in bringing Colorado its first Stanley Cup in 21 years. 

That alone is worth $12.6 million. 

There is a caveat to this, as MacKinnon’s extension doesn’t kick in until the 2023-24 season, so he’ll earn $6.3 million for the upcoming season.

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About the Author

Gary Pearson

Read More @newagejourno

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.