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2023/24 NHL season: Ranking the highest paid players by salary

Who has the highest salary in the NHL?

The star players of the National Hockey League may not be able to command the astronomical salaries paid to the stars of the NBA and NFL, but there is still a very healthy living to be made in the game.

We complied a list of the top 20 salaries heading into the 2023/24 NHL season.

Auston Matthews - $16.7 million

Matthews' contract extension through 2028 makes him the highest-paid player in the league. The 25-year-old center is locked down for the rest of his 20s in Toronto, who are chasing their first Stanley Cup in over four decades.

Nathan MacKinnon - $16.5 million

MacKinnon has been a star turn for the Avalanche since being selected in the 2013 draft and the center, of course, helped Colorado to Stanley Cup success in 2022.

David Pastrnak - $13 million

The Czech right winger scored 61 goals for the Bruins last season and has been at Boston since the 2014 draft, playing a key role as the Bruins broke records for both wins and points in the last regular season.

Dougie Hamilton - $12.6 million

The 30-year-old defenseman is on his fourth NHL outfit having been drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2014, and having subsequent spells at the Calgary Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes, leaving the latter to join the Devils as a free agent in 2021.

Kirill Kaprizov - $12.5 million

The 26-year-old left winger was signed from Kontinental Hockey League CSKA Moscow by the Wild and became the first player to be voted NHL rookie of the year in 2021. 

The Russian also won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Alex Ovechkin - $12.5 million

The 37-year-old Capitals captain is renowned as one of the greatest goalscorers in the game’s history. A regular in the All-Star game for more than 15 years, he has scored 822 goals in the NHL, second only to "the Great One", Wayne Gretzky.

Seth Jones - $12.5 million

Jones had spent nine seasons in the NHL with the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets before being traded to the Blackhawks in 2021. The defenseman returned to the NHL All Star game last season for the fifth time in his career.

Alex Pietrangelo - $12.3 million

Defenseman Pietrangelo spent nine years at the St Louis Blues, captaining the side to Stanley Cup glory in 2019, before enjoying a similar success three years later having moved to Las Vegas.

Timo Meier - $12 million

The Swiss left winger joined the San Jose Sharks in the 2015 draft and became the first player in franchise history to score five goals in one game seven years later. He moved to New Jersey as part of a multi-player deal in February.

Aleksander Barkov - $12 million

Selected second overall in the 2013 draft, the Florida Panthers centre and captain holds dual Russian-Finnish citizenship and was awarded the Selke Trophy in 2013.

Zachary Werenski - $12 million

The defenseman is a stalwart of the Columbus franchise having been captured eighth in the 2015 draft, and signing a six-year contract extension in 2021.

Adam Fox - $12 million

Having originally been drafted by Calgary Flames in 2016, Fox made his NHL debut in 2019 after moving to the New York Rangers, where he won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman in 2021.

Erik Karlsson - $11.5 million

Karlsson made the move to Pittsburgh earlier this month after playing 14 years at the Ottawa Senators and the San Jose Sharks. A three-time winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy and is the current holder of the award, the defenseman now has a legitimate chance of playoff success.

William Nylander - $11.5 million

William Nylander finally signed a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs in January 2024, inking an eight-year, $92 million deal. The Leafs are looking to end a near-half-century long Stanley Cup drought, and inking Nylander puts them on the right path.

Read more: William Nylander signs eight-year, $92 million contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs

Roope Hintz - $11.5 million

The Finnish star, known as the Ace of Spades, joined the Stars in the 2015 draft, although it took a while for him to earn a full-time position. The centre has scored 37 goals in each of the last two seasons.

Brayden Point - $11.25 million

The centre won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Lightning in 2020 and 2021, finishing as the leading playoff goalscorer in both years. He also scored the trophy-clinching goal in 2020.

Matthew Tkachuk - $11.25 million

Tkachuk was picked sixth by the Calgary Flames in 2016 before being traded to the Florida Panthers in 2022. The winger played a starring role in the Panthers run to the Stanley Cup final, while he was also a finalist in the Hart Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL’s most valuable player.

Mikhail Sergachev - $11.05 million

The Russian defenseman was drafted sixth for the Montreal Canadiens but was traded to Tampa Bay the following year and went on to claim back-to-back Stanley Cup triumphs with the LIghtning in 2020 and 2021.

Connor McDavid - $11 million

McDavid was selected by the Oilers at first overall in the 2015 draft and soon made a big impact as a rookie-of-the-year finalist, and became the youngest player to be the top pointscorer in league history the following year. 

A three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner as the league's most valuable player, McDavid finished last season as number one in points, goals and assists.

Cale Makar - $11 million

Regarded as one of the best defensemen in the sport, Makar was rookie of the year in 2019. He was winner of the John Norris Memorial Trophy three years later, the same year that he helped the Avalanche to Stanley Cup success.

Drew Doughty - $11 million

Doughty was selected second overall in the 2008 draft and made his debut for the Kings when he was just 18. 

The star defenseman won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2011 and 2013 and was also part of the gold-medal-winning Canada team at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics

Charles McAvoy - $11 million

The Long Island-born defenseman was selected 14th overall in the 2016 draft and signed an eight-year contract extension with the Bruins in 2021.

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