NHL Salaries: How Much Do Players Make?

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Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid prepares to take a face-off during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sat., Nov. 2, 2019. (
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gary Pearson @newagejourno Sep 16, 2022, 1:23 PM
  • The average NHL salary is $3.5 million per year.
  • The NHL salary cap is $82.5 million for the 2022-23 campaign.
  • The minimum wage is $750,000 for the 2022-23 season.

The maximum salary cap is $82.5 million for the 2022-23 campaign, and the average NHL salary is just over $3.5 million. 

NHL betting isn’t directly impacted by how much players make, but it’s interesting to see where certain individuals stand in earnings. 

The NHL salary cap increased by $1 million, the first time it has gone up in three years. However, the increase is almost negligible considering all other increases, including the cost of living and inflation. 

 

How Much Do NHL Players Make?

While the average salary is $3.5 million, the minimum wage is about $775,000, slightly up from $750,000 in 2021-22. 

Many players plying their trade in the AHL with one-way contracts earn the NHL minimum wage, as they’re paid the same salary whether they suit up for their designated AHL or NHL team. 

The NHL’s $3.5 million average salary seems like a ton of cash to those with typical jobs. 

However, it pales in comparison to average NBA salaries. NBA players earn an average salary of $8.5 million annually, dwarfing the $3.5 million earned by NHLers. 

The average salary in the NFL is about $2.7 million. However, there are massive salary discrepancies in the NFL, as quarterbacks earn at least $7 million on average while special teams players make about $2.8 million annually.

NHL referee salaries are good, but far inferior to what players earn. 

Ranking Highest NHL Salaries

PlayerTeamAverage Yearly Salary
Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers$12.5 million
Artemi PanarinNew York Rangers$11.642 million
Auston MatthewsToronto Maple Leafs$11.64 million
Erik KarlssonSan Jose Sharks $11.5 million
Leon DraisaitlEdmonton Oilers$11.33 million
John TavaresToronto Maple Leafs$11 million
Drew DoughtyLos Angeles Kings$11 million
Mitchell MarnerToronto Maple Leafs$10.9 million
Carey PriceMontreal Canadiens$10.5 million
Patrick Kane/Jonathan ToewsChicago Blackhawks$10.5 million

Three of the top NHL earners play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, with third-highest paid Auston Matthews ($11.64 million), sixth-highest paid John Tavares ($11 million), and eighth-highest paid Mitchell Marner ($10.9 million).

Matthews, Tavares, and Marner’s salaries consume 41% of Toronto’s overall cap space, an astronomical portion of the team’s financial commitment. 

General manager Kyle Dubas will face some difficult yet necessary decisions if the Maple Leafs don’t win the Stanley Cup soon. Of course, Tavares is the most expendable, but who in their right mind would adopt such a bloated salary? 

Connor McDavid earns the most of any player in the league ($12.5 million), a justifiable salary for the world’s best player. 

 

The Montreal Canadiens received devastating news about their franchise netminder Carey Price, who earns $10.5 million per season and is the only goaltender on the top-10 earners list. Unfortunately, Price probably won’t suit up for the 2022-23 season after enduring more complications on his chronically injured knee. 

Price underwent surgery in the summer of 2021 but will be forced to go under the knife again if he returns. 

Price, who has been hit hard by the injury bug recently, is 35 years old and has some soul searching before deciding whether a return to the NHL is on the cards. 

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who were instrumental in bringing three Stanley Cups to Chicago, signed 8-year/$84 million contracts in 2015-16. They have one season remaining on their current deals before becoming unrestricted free agents. 

Toews is 34 years old, and Kane is 33. Trade rumors are rife regarding Kane, who might be on the move at some point in the 2022-23 NHL 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.