Nathan MacKinnon

10 highest-paid NHL players in 2023-24

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With the league increasing the salary cap to $83.5 million for the upcoming season, it is time to look at the highest paid NHL players 2023-24 will have.

Highest paid NHL players 2023-24

When looking at the largest NHL salaries currently, an argument could be made that many of the league’s best players deserve to be paid more. Compared to other major North American sports leagues, the NHL is well behind in terms of the amount the league pays its top players.

Many of the NHL’s current greatest players are on this list, but there are a few that may come as a surprise. There are also a lot of young, up-and-coming stars who will surely add their names to this list in future years when it is time to negotiate new deals.

For now, the players on this list will carry the largest cap hit entering the 2023-24 season.

10. (Tie) Carey Price and Jonathan Huberdeau – $10,500,000

Carey Price will be 36 years old by the start of next season, but it is currently unclear how much of Price we will see in 2023-24. Price did not suit up for any game in the league last season, and only appeared in five games the year prior.


Price is entering the sixth year of an eight-year $84 million contract he signed with the Montreal Canadiens back in 2017. Jonathan Huberdeau has the same dollar amount and years on his contract but will be heading into the first season of his deal in 2023-24.

Huberdeau had a disappointing season with the Calgary Flames last year. He went from 115 points in 2021-22 to just 55 points last season. With the contract kicking in this upcoming season, he will need to have a bounce-back year to prove that the deal was not 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 is coming off another strong season where he had a career-best 99 points. His 69 assists were tied for the fifth most in the league this past year.

He should be in for another big deal after the 2024-25 season, especially if he is able to crack the 100-point mark over the next couple of years.


7. (Tie) 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 in 2023. John Tavares and Drew Doughty will each be carrying an $11 million cap hit into next season.

Tavares is the current captain of the Maple Leafs and is locked in with 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, collecting 80 points in 80 games played.

Doughty also signed his current contract in 2018, except his was for eight years and $88 million 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 27-year-old Bruins winger scored 61 goals, the second most in the league. Pastrnak also surpassed the 100-point mark for the first time. His 113 points were tied for the third most in the NHL as he finished second in Hart Trophy voting.

Pastrnak was rewarded during the season with an eight-year $90 million contract extension that he signed in March. The new deal, which kicks in this upcoming season, will keep Pastrnak in Boston through the 2030-31 season. The contract features a full no-movement clause for the first five years.

5. Erik Karlsson – $11,500,000

Erik Karlsson’s contract is steep, carrying a cap hit of $11.5 million for the next four seasons. However, he did make the contract look better by having the best year of his career this past season.

Karlsson had 101 points in 2022-23, which was the most among defensemen by a wide margin. He also led all defensemen in goals and assists. His 76 assists alone would have been enough to put him in a tie for first in points by a defenseman this past season.

Karlsson’s record year led to him winning the Norris Trophy for the third time in his career and his first 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 back in 2019. He carries a cap hit of $11,640,250 heading into the final year of the deal.

Matthews did not have his best season in 2022-23, registering only 85 points after reaching 106 the year prior. However, it was still the second most points he has had in a season in his career so far.

Matthews will surely be motivated to have a career year this season as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2023-24 season.

3. Artemi Panarin – $11,642,857

A 31-year-old left winger, Artemi Panarin will be one of the highest paid NHL players in 2024.

Panarin has played the last four seasons with the New York Rangers. He signed a seven-year $81.5 million contract with the team during the 2019 offseason. The deal includes a full no-movement clause.

Panarin played in 82 games last season and had 63 assists. He has surpassed the 90-point mark in three of the previous four seasons, notching 92 points this past year. Panarin’s contract runs through the 2025-26 season.

2. Connor McDavid – $12,500,000

It is fair to say that Connor McDavid should be number one on this highest paid NHL players 2023-24 list. McDavid has been the best player in the NHL for many years now and is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest players in league history.

McDavid had the best year of his career this past season, becoming just the sixth player in NHL history to reach 150 points in a season. He led the league in points with 153, goals with 64, and assists with 89. McDavid has already reached 850 career points while playing in less than 570 games.

McDavid is entering the sixth year of his eight-year $100 million contract he signed with the Edmonton Oilers back in 2017. He will surely become the highest paid player in the league once it is time for his next deal.

1. Nathan MacKinnon – $12,600,000

Nathan MacKinnon enters the 2023-24 season as the highest paid player in the NHL with a cap hit of $12.6 million.

This upcoming season will mark the first year of his eight-year $100.8 million contract extension he signed with the Colorado Avalanche last offseason. The deal contains a full no-movement clause and will keep him under contract through 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 in points with 111. He has averaged more than a point per game for six straight seasons and will be just 28 years old when the season begins.

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