Restricted free agent Nathan MacKinnon has come to terms with the Colorado Avalanche on a seven-year contract extension. The team didn’t disclose details, but Elliotte Friedman reports that the deal carries an AAV of $6.3 million.
That deal will make MacKinnon, the first overall draft pick in 2013, the highest paid player on the team at age 20. He surpasses 25-year-old Matt Duchene, whose current AAV sits at $6 million.
Last season MacKinnon 21 goals and 52 points, a touch shy of the numbers he posted in an impressive rookie season where he won the Calder Trophy. That season he put up 24 goals and 63 points.
In the last two seasons, though he didn’t manage to match the offensive production of year one, he’s posted very good possession numbers. In particular, the team’s shot attempts for per 60 minutes of even-strength play (CF60) while MacKinnon is on the ice are outstanding. The team averaged more than 11.5 shot attempts per hour more when MacKinnon was on the ice than when he wasn’t. That’s staggering and if he continues to grow as a player, the $6.3 million he’s making could look very good as he hits his early mid-20s.
TFW @Mackinnon9 signs a new long-term contract…
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 8, 2016
The Avalanche are projected to have a shade under $7.8 million in cap space remaining and still have Tyson Barrie and Mikhail Grigorenko as RFAs that need new deals. It could make the cap situation a little tight if they give Barrie a long-term extension.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.