NHL is one of the highest-paid sports in the world. With that said, do you know about the highest, most paid hockey player in the world?
Since the NHL is the premier professional ice hockey league globally, there is no doubt it draws a lot of fans and spectators annually. Moreover, the sport has always garnered a lot of popularity.
The league is the fifth-wealthiest professional sports league in the world. Thus, the players also earn handsomely on and off the ice.
With the end of the 2021 season, we were curious about the topmost paid hockey players in the world. Hence, came this list. Here, we have compiled the list to answer the query.
So, let us together get to know about these most paid hockey players and how much they earn.
12 Most Paid Hockey Player in The World
We have compiled the list with the help of rankings from Forbes.com. But before hopping into the details, let us look at the rankings short preview at the table below.
|Players Name||Total Earnings|
|12. Nicklas Backstrom||$10 million|
|11. Andrei Vasilevskiy||$10.1 million|
|10. Sergei Bobrovsky||$10.1 million|
|9. Nikita Kucherov||$10.3 million|
|8. Sidney Crosby||$10.5 million|
|7. Tyler Seguin||$11 million|
|6. Artemi Panarin||$11.2 million|
|5. Mitchell Marner||$11.6 million|
|4. Carey Price||$11.8 million|
|3. Erik Karlsson||$12.1 million|
|2. Auston Matthews||$12.2 million|
|1. Connor McDavid||$16.4 million|
12. Nicklas Backstrom
The 12th player on the list of 12 most paid hockey player in the world is a 34 year old Swedish professional ice hockey player. He is an alternate captain for the Washington Capitals.
The Capitals drafted Backstrom fourth overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He began his playing career at age 15 in the 2002-03 season for the J20 SuperElite league.
He was called up to play in Sweden’s top professional hockey league just three seasons in. After being drafted by the Capitals, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the franchise.
Backstrom’s elite playmaking abilities quickly helped him climb the ranks. He has become Wahington’s all-time franchise leader in assists. As a result, in 2020, the Capitals signed him for a five-year contract extension worth $46 million.
Some of his best records and wins include being the first NHL rookie to record four assists in two consecutive games, the youngest Swedish player ever in World Championship, Stanley Cup champion in 2018, etc.
11. Andrei Vasilevskiy
Andrei Vasilevskiy is a Russian ice hockey player for the Tampa Bay Lighting. Nicknamed “Big Cat” and “Vasy,” 27 year old is on our number 11 with a total earning of $10.1 million.
The Lighting drafted Vasilevskiy the 19th overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Similarly, he was also drafted in the 2011 KHL Junior draft by Salavat Yulaev Ufa before the draft.
Aside from being part of the NHL, he has also played in various international hockey championships on behalf of his country. In the 2017 World Ice Hockey Championships, Vasilevskiy helps Russia win the bronze medal.
He has bagged many awards and achievements in his NHL career and playing for the Russian team. In 2019, Lightning signed him on a $76 million contract extension for another eight-year.
Some of Vasilevskiy’s awards include All-Star Game four times, Vezina Trophy 2019, First All-Star Team two times, Best Goaltender two times, etc.
10. Sergei Bobrovsky
We have Sergei Bobrovsky on our number 10 of the most paid hockey player. He is a 33– year-old Russian ice hockey goaltender playing for the Florida Panthers.
Bobrovsky is considered one of the top NHL goaltenders. However, he was never drafted into NHL despite the Philadelphia Flyers manager considering drafting him in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Then later, the Flyers signed him on an entry-level contract for three years on May 6, 2010. He was with the Flyers until 2012 and was later traded to Columbus Blue Jackets.
In 2019, the Florida Panthers signed Bobrovsky to a $70 million contract for seven years. His total earnings are estimated to be $10.1 million by Forbes.
Bobrovsky shares the record for most consecutive wins in one NHL regular season and has won Vezina Trophy two times, awarded to NHL’s goaltender who is “adjusted to be the best at this position.”
9. Nikita Kucherov
With total earnings of $10.3 million, we have Russian ice hockey player Nikita Kucherov as our number 9 most paid hockey player. 29 year old Kucherov is regarded as one of the best players in the world.
He played in the Russian Junior Hockey League and the Kontiental Hockey League. Then the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted him 58th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Then in 2012, Kucherov signed with Lightning on a three-year entry-level contract. He made his NHL debut in a game against the New York Rangers the following year.
He had his breakout season in 2014-15. As a result, Lightning extended his contract for another three years and signed him in a $14.3 million contract.
Kurcherov holds NHL records for the most assists in a single season by a wing in NHL history and most points in a single season by a Russian-born player. Similarly, he won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.
Likewise, Kucherov has won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award as the best player voted by fellow NHL players.
8. Sidney Crosby
Nicknamed “Sid the Kid,” Sidney Crosby is a 34 year old Canadian ice hockey player. His total earnings are estimated to be $10.5 million.
Crosby is considered one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time. The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted him first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry draft, and at present, he plays in the position of captain for the Penguins.
His hockey journey started with minor league and was later drafted in the 2003 Midget draft as the first overall. During this period, Crosby dominated the junior league and earned many accolades.
Before his NHL draft, he won the Mike Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL’s best prospect. Crosby immediately made an impact on the NHL. As a result, the media gave him the nickname “Sid the Kid.”
He has one of the longest lists of achievements and awards as an ice hockey player. Some of his records include being the first rookie to record 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in a season, the youngest player to record 100 points in a season, etc.
7. Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin is a Canadian ice hockey player who plays as an alternate captain for the Dallas Stars. The Boston Bruins drafted him second overall in the 2010 NHL Entry draft. The 30 year-old player won the 2011 Stanley Cup in his rookie year.
Seguin started his career playing in the minor hockey league. He also played in an amateur league before entering the NHL draft. He was considered one of the top two available players during the draft.
The Bruins signed Seguin on a three-year entry-level contract worth $3.75 million. He signed the European hockey contract during the 2012-13 NHL lockout. He signed with the EHC Biel hockey club.
Then in 2013, Seguin was traded to the Dallas Stars by the Bruins. Other than NHL, he played in the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
Aside from the Stanley Cup, Seguin has also won the NHL All-Star Game six times. Forbes estimated his total earnings as $11 million. Likewise, he has sponsorship with Adidas, Bauer Hockey, BioSteel Sports Supplements, and Dunkin Donuts.
6. Artemi Panarin
Nicknamed “Breadman,” we have 30 year old Russian player Artemi Panarin. He is an alternate captain for New York Rangers.
Initially, he was undrafted in the NHL, Panarin made his NHL debut in 2015. Although he was undrafted in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he played in the Kontinental Hockey League. Then in 2015, NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks signed him.
The Blackhawks signed Panarin on an entry-level contract for two years. Soon after his debut, he won the 2015-16 Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Additionally, he finished the 2015-16 season in the top ten among the forwards in scoring. As a result, Panarin was able to earn a $2.55 million bonus on his contract.
In 2016, he signed a $12 million contract with the Blackhawks for two years. However, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets the following year.
In 2019, the New York Rangers signed Panarin on a seven-year contract worth $81.5 million. He has also been part of the Russian national team and has represented his country on various international platforms.
5. Mitchell Marner
Our number 5 of the most paid hockey players is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ alternate captain, Mitchell Marner. The Leafs drafted 25 year old Canadian player fourth overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Marner started his career playing in the minor league. Later he turned down the scholarship offer from the University of Michigan to sign in the major junior league team. Instead, he signed with the London Knights.
During the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Marner was consistently considered one of the top prospects. Since his debut, he has made several records and won many records.
The Leafs signed Marner on a six-year contract worth $65.358 million and was appointed as an alternate captain. Aside from playing in the NHL, he also had made appearances for his country in international games.
Marner’s achievements include NHL All-Rookie team 2017, NHL All-Star Game 2020, and NHL First All-Star Team 2021. Forbes estimated his earnings at $11.6 million.
4. Carey Price
Considered one of the best goaltenders in the world, Casey Price is a Canadian ice hockey player for the Montreal Canadiens. 34 year old Price is also considered one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the Montreal Canadiens.
He first started playing hockey in Western Hockey League (WHL). The Montreal Canadiens drafted Price fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2007.
In his first year in NHL, he became on the NHL All-Rookie team. Then after, he continued to climb ranks in the league.
In 2017, Price signed an eight-year extension contract worth $84 million. Similarly, apart from playing in the NHL, he also played for his Canadian national team.
To date, some of Price’s most notable career wins and awards include the NHL All-Rookie Team, Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Hart Memorial Trophy, etc. Forbes estimated his total earnings at $11.8 million.
3. Erik Karlsson
Our number 3 of the most paid hockey players go to Erik Karlsson, with total earnings of $12.1 million. He is a 32 year old Swedish ice hockey player for the San Jose Sharks.
The Ottawa Senators drafted him 15th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry draft in the first round. Karlsson plays in the position of the defenceman and alternate captain.
He started his professional journey with the Swedish professional ice hockey team Frolunda HC. When he entered the NHL draft, Karlsson ranked fourth among European skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service.
He spent nine seasons with the Senators, after which they traded him to the San Jose Sharks in 2018. The Sharks signed Karlsson on an eight-year contract worth $92 million the following year.
The contract made him the highest-paid defenceman in NHL history and the third highest-paid player in the NHL at the time. Similarly, he also has made appearances for his country’s national team.
Some of Karlsson’s career wins, and awards are NHL All-Star six times, NHL First All-Star Team four times, Viking Award three times, James Norris Memorial Trophy two times, and NHL All-Decade Second team two times.
2. Auston Matthews
With total earnings of $12.2 million, American ice hockey player and alternate captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews, is our number 2 of the most paid hockey player.
24 year old Matthews was drafted by the Leafs first overall in the 2016 NHL Entry draft.
He has played hockey since his childhood. Matthews started his hockey journey playing for the WHL franchise Everett Silvertips in 2012.
Likewise, he also trained in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Later on, after he missed the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, he played in the Swiss National League’s franchise team ZSC Lions.
Soon after his debut, Matthews scored four goals in his NHL debut. He was the first player to achieve the feat. In 2019, he signed a five-year extension contract worth $58.17 million.
Aside from playing in NHL, he played in the national team in the U-18 division, junior championships, and the senior team.
1. Connor McDavid
On number 1 of the most paid hockey player is Canadian player and captain of Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid. The 24 year-old player is the highest-paid hockey player with total earnings of $16.4 million.
McDavid is considered one of the finest players in the NHL. The Oilers drafted him first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry draft.
He has played hockey since his childhood. Before his NHL debut, he played in the minor league and junior league.
McDavid had already accumulated numerous accolades before he entered the NHL draft. Additionally, after being drafted by the Oilers, he signed an entry-level contract worth $11.3 million for three years.
Then in 2017, McDavid signed a contract extension with the Oilers for eight years worth $100 million. Additional to playing in the NHL, he also made appearances for the Canadian national team.
McDavid holds the NHL records for the youngest captain in NHL history, most points on consecutive goals to begin an NHL season, and most individual awards are given to any OHL player.
This ends our list of the most paid hockey players in the world. As one of the wealthiest leagues in the sports world, there is no surprise that the players earn as much as they do.