In any organization or field, salary is one of the most important factors in employee satisfaction. After all, no one can be happy with a job they feel is underpaid. The NHL is an expensive organization to be a part of.
According to Forbes, an NHL player’s average salary in 2015-2016 was $2.9 million, and that number has only risen in recent years. Teams are willing to pay a lot of money to get and keep the very best players on their rosters. As of 2022, these are the 10 highest-paid players in the NHL, including athletes from various positions and teams across the league.
1. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers – $16 million salary
Connor McDavid is the highest-paid ice hockey center in the NHL, with a salary of $16 million. He’s been with the Edmonton Oilers since they drafted him first overall in 2015 and starred as one of the best players in the league ever since.
2. Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks – $14 million salary
Erik Karlsson is a defenseman for the San Jose Sharks, and he’s one of the best at his position in the entire league. He’s helped the Sharks to back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances and rakes in $14 million in salary.
3. Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars – $13 million salary
Tyler Seguin is one of the most prolific scorers in the NHL, and he’s been a major contributor to the Dallas Stars’ recent success. They made the playoffs in 2019, and Seguin was a big reason why. He’s signed through the 2022-2023 season, and his salary of $13 million per year makes him the third highest-paid player in the NHL.
4. Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers – $12 million salary
According to USA Today, Artemi Panarin is another top winger and highest-paid player in the NHL and recently signed a blockbuster deal with the New York Rangers. He’s set to make $12 million per year over the next seven years, making him the fourth highest-paid NHL player.
5. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens – $10 million salary
As per ESPN, Carey Price is worth every penny and ranks as one of the highest-paid goaltenders in the NHL. He’s been the cornerstone of the Montreal Canadiens for over a decade, and he remains one of the best goalies. He’s signed through the 2025-2026 season, and his salary of $10 million per year is well-deserved.
6. Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights – $9 million salary
Mark Stone is a dynamic right winger and captain in the NHL and recently signed an extension with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s making $9 million per year through the 2024-2025 season, making him the sixth highest-paid player in the NHL.
7. Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning – $9 million salary
Nikita Kucherov is one of the best right wingers in the NHL, and he’s a big reason why the Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the top teams in the league. He’s signed through the 2023-2024 season, and he’s currently making $9 million per year.
8. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers – $9 million salary
Sergei Bobrovsky has ranked as one of the most consistent goaltenders in the NHL for years, and he’s finally getting paid like it. He recently signed an extension with the Florida Panthers, making $9 million per year through the 2024-2025 season.
9. Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets – $8 million salary
Dustin Byfuglien is a key member of the Winnipeg Jets’ blue line, and he’s one of the most intimidating forward and defensive players in the NHL. He’s signed through the 2021-2022 season, and his salary of $8 million per year makes him the ninth highest-paid player in the NHL.
10. Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings – $7 million salary
Drew Doughty comes out as one of the best defensemen in the NHL, and he’s been a vital member of the Los Angeles Kings’ blue line for over a decade. He’s won two Stanley Cups with the Kings, and he’s currently signed through the 2021-2022 season.
As you can see, the NHL is a very expensive league to play in. The top players in the league are making upwards of $14 million per year, and even the lower-paid players are still making several million dollars. If you want to play in the NHL, you best prepare to make a significant financial investment.