With the league raising the salary cap to $83.5 million for the upcoming season, it’s time to take a look at the highest-paid NHL players of 2023-24.
Highest Paid NHL Players 2023–24
Looking at the highest NHL salaries right now, it could be argued that many of the league’s best players deserve higher pay. Compared to other major North American sports leagues, the NHL lags far behind when it comes to the salaries of its top players.
Many of the NHL’s current best players are on this list, but there are a few that may surprise you. There are also plenty of young, rising stars who will surely add their names to this list in the years to come when it comes time to negotiate new deals.
For now, the players on this list will have the highest cap hit in the 2023-24 season.
10. (Draw) Carey Price and Jonathan Huberdeau – $10,500,000
Carey Price will be 36 by the start of next season, but it’s currently unclear how much of Price we’ll see in 2023/24. Price didn’t play a game in the league last season and only featured in five games the year before.
Price is entering the sixth year of an eight-year, $84 million contract he signed with the Montreal Canadiens in 2017. Jonathan Huberdeau has the same dollar amount and contract length but will enter the first season of his contract in 2023. 24
Huberdeau had a disappointing season with the Calgary Flames last year. He went from 115 points in the 2021/22 season to just 55 points last season. With the contract expiring next season, he will need a year of recovery to prove the deal wasn’t a mistake for the Flames.
9. Mitch Marner – $10,903,000
Mitch Marner is one of the younger players on this list at just 26 years old. He currently has two years left on his six-year, $65,408,000 contract he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Marner has had another strong season in which he scored a career-best 99 points. His 69 assists were the fifth-most in the league last year.
After the 2024/25 season, another big deal is likely to come his way, especially if he can break the 100 point mark in the next few years.
7. (Draw) John Tavares and Drew Doughty – $11,000,000
Two players who have each played over 1,000 games in the league are also two of the highest-paid NHL players of 2023. John Tavares and Drew Doughty will each bring in an $11 million cap hit next season .
Tavares is the current captain of the Maple Leafs and will be signed to the team for the next two seasons. He signed a seven-year, $77 million deal with Toronto in 2018. Tavares averaged a point per game last season and amassed 80 points in 80 games played.
Doughty also signed his current contract in 2018, but for an eight-year, $88 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings. Last season, Doughty had 52 points in 81 games. He will not become a free agent until after the 2026-27 season at the age of 37.
6. David Pastrnak – $11,250,000
David Pastrnak had the best season of his career so far in 2022/23.
The Bruins winger, 27, has netted 61 goals, the second most in the league. Pastrnak also surpassed the 100-point mark for the first time. His 113 points was the third most in the NHL as he placed second in Hart Trophy selection.
Pastrnak was rewarded during the season with an eight-year, $90 million contract extension, which he signed in March. The new contract, which begins next season, sees Pastrnak stay in Boston through the 2030-31 season. The contract contains a full no-movement clause for the first five years.
5. Erik Karlsson – $11,500,000
Erik Karlsson’s contract is hefty, capped at $11.5 million for the next four seasons. However, he made the contract look better by having the best year of his career last season.
Karlsson scored 101 points in the 2022–23 season, which was by far the highest score among defenders. He also led all defenders in goals and assists. His 76 assists alone would have been enough to earn a defenseman’s first point last season.
Karlsson’s record year saw him win the Norris Trophy for the third time in his career and for the first time as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
4. Auston Matthews – $11,640,250
Auston Matthews signed a five-year, $58,195,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. By the final year of the contract, he has a cap hit of $11,640,250.
Matthews didn’t have his best season in 2022/23, scoring just 85 points after hitting 106 points the year before. However, it was still the second-highest points he has accumulated in a single season of his career so far.
Matthews will certainly be motivated to start a career year this season as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the 2023-24 season.
3. Artemi Panarin – $11,642,857
Artemi Panarin, a 31-year-old left winger, will be one of the highest-paid NHL players in 2024.
Panarin has played for the New York Rangers for the past four seasons. During the 2019 offseason, he signed a seven-year, $81.5 million deal with the team. The deal includes a full no-move clause.
Panarin played 82 games last season and had 63 assists. He’s surpassed the 90-point mark in three of the last four seasons, scoring 92 points last year. Panarin’s contract runs until the 2025/26 season.
2. Connor McDavid – $12,500,000
It’s fair to say that Connor McDavid should be number one on this list of the highest paid NHL players of 2023-24. McDavid has been the NHL’s best player for many years and is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest players in league history.
McDavid had the best year of his career last season and became only the sixth player in NHL history to reach 150 points in a season. He led the league with 153 points, 64 goals and 89 assists. McDavid has 850 points in his career in fewer than 570 games.
McDavid is entering the sixth year of his eight-year, $100 million contract he signed with the Edmonton Oilers in 2017. He’s sure to become the highest-paid player in the league when it comes time for his next contract.
1. Nathan MacKinnon – $12,600,000
Nathan MacKinnon enters 2023-24 as the NHL’s highest-paid player with a $12.6 million cap hit.
The upcoming season will be the first year of the eight-year, $100.8 million contract extension he signed with the Colorado Avalanche last season. The contract includes a full ban clause and will keep him under contract until the 2030/31 season.
MacKinnon has proven to be one of the most consistent producers in the league. Last season, MacKinnon finished fifth in the league with 111 points. He’s averaged more than a point per game for six straight seasons and will be just 28 when the season begins.