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10 highest paid NHL players in 2022-23

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Many of the best hockey players in the world make up the highest paid NHL players 2023 list.

None of these big deals will go down as the worst contracts in NHL history, as the majority of the highest-paid NHL players right now are proving that they deserve the kind of money they are getting.

Highest paid NHL players 2023

The amount of money the top NHL players are receiving continues to climb with each passing year. When Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were playing, they never signed a contract worth more than $6.6 million per year. Now, every player on this list is getting paid over $10 million a season.

This list of the seven biggest NHL contracts 2023 includes the 10 players with the highest cap hit during the 2022-23 season. Some of the players on this list may come as a surprise, but there won’t be any surprises when it comes to who’s holding the top spot as the highest paid player in the league today.

8. (Tie) Patrick Kane, Carey Price, Jonathan Toews – $10,500,000 cap hit

All three of these players are at the back end of their careers. Carey Price is 35 years old, while Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are 34 years old.


Kane and Toews have received a lot of attention this season regarding their trade status. Both players are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season and are likely to be moved by the trade deadline so that the Chicago Blackhawks can get something in return. Each of them has a no-movement clause but would definitely entertain waiving that if it means they are sent to a Stanley Cup contender.

Price has not played this year due to a knee injury that placed him on the long-term injured reserve list before the start of the season. There is a lot of speculation as to when or if Price ever returns to the NHL again, as it seems more and more likely that he may never lace up his skates for the Montreal Canadiens again.

Although none of these contracts look good for the Blackhawks and Canadiens, this is a case of paying star players for their past performances. Even though he has not played since the 2021-22 season, Price has given everything to the Canadiens organization and has been a top goaltender in the league for over a decade.

Kane and Toews deserve this big money after leading Chicago to three Stanley Cup championships. Toews has seen a bigger decline in terms of performance the last couple of seasons, while Kane is still putting up points and is coming off of a 92-point season last year.

7. Mitch Marner – $10,903,000

Mitch Marner is currently in a 6-year $65,408,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, earning $10,903,000 this season.


Marner has been playing at an incredible level this season. He is averaging more than a point per game so far and was recently named an All-Star for the second time. Earlier in the season, Marner went 23 consecutive games recording at least one point, which set a new franchise record and is tied for the ninth-longest streak in league history.

At just 25 years old, Marner is still getting better and has not even reached his prime yet. He has a chance to reach 100 points for the first time in his career this season, although even if it doesn’t happen this year, he will definitely get there eventually.

5. (Tie) John Tavares and Drew Doughty – $11,000,000

John Tavares and Drew Doughty are each making $11,000,000 this season. They each signed their contracts on July 1, 2018. Tavares signed a 7-year $77 million contract, while Doughty signed an 8-year $88 million contract.

Tavares is the current captain of the Maple Leafs and has been a consistent producer for the team since he signed. He had 76 points in 79 games last season and is on pace to surpass that this season.

Doughty has been a big piece for the Los Angeles Kings for 15 seasons now. He helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014 and won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2016.

It will be interesting to see how these contracts play out down the road. Tavares’ contract does look like the better deal, as he is a year younger, and his contract ends after the 2024-25 season. Doughty on the other hand is 33 years old and will continue to receive $11 million per year through the 2026-27 season.

4. Erik Karlsson – $11,500,000

One of the biggest NHL contracts 2023 has to offer, Erik Karlsson is currently the highest paid defenseman in the league.

Karlsson signed an 8-year $92 million contract with the San Jose Sharks prior to the start of the 2019-20 season. Although he has a full no-movement clause, Karlsson’s name has come up regarding a trade by this year’s trade deadline. Prior to the year, it looked unlikely that a team would take on his large contract, but with Karlsson on pace for the best season of his career, who knows how many teams are willing to make a deal for him.

Like Doughty’s, Karlsson’s contract will end after the 2026-27 season. Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner and is part of the All-Star game this season for the seventh time in his career.

3. Auston Matthews – $11,640,250

The reigning two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner, Auston Matthews is the third highest-paid player in the game today.

Matthews is the final player from the Toronto Maple Leafs on this list and deservedly has the largest salary on the team. He signed a 5-year deal worth $58,195,000 back in 2019 that will have one year remaining after this season.

At just 25 years old, Matthews is already arguably the greatest goal scorer in today’s game. He is coming off of a 60-goal season, which he did in just 73 games. Matthews also eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time in his career in 2021-22.

2. Artemi Panarin – $11,642,857

Just ahead of Matthews, Artemi Panarin is second on the highest paid NHL players 2023 list with $11,642,857.

In 2019, Panarin signed an $81.5 million contract with the New York Rangers that would keep him with the team through 2025-26. Since signing the deal, Panarin has averaged more than 1.25 points per game with the Rangers. He had his best season last year, collecting 96 points in 75 games.

With the Rangers paying him this much money, they should expect him to do more come playoff time. Panarin has just 18 points in 23 career postseason games for New York.

1. Connor McDavid – $12,500,000

There is no player more deserving of the largest NHL salary this season than Connor McDavid.

McDavid has been dominating the league for over six seasons now and is still just 26 years old. He is a four-time Art Ross Trophy winner, a three-time Ted Lindsay Award winner, and a two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner.

McDavid is an All-Star this season for the sixth time in his career. He is currently on pace for 150 points this season, which would make him only the sixth player ever to reach 150 points in a year. He is under contract with the Edmonton Oilers through 2025-26 and will get a much bigger contract when the time comes to sign a new deal.

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