Ice hockey is a fast-paced, physical sport that demands high levels of skill and athleticism. In the world of professional ice hockey, players are paid handsomely for their talents. However, salaries in ice hockey vary widely depending on a player’s skill level, experience, and contract negotiations. In this article, we’ll explore what the average ice hockey player salary looks like in today’s game.
According to the National Hockey League Players’ Association, the average salary of an NHL player during the 2020-2021 season was $2.58 million. However, this number is somewhat misleading as many players earn significantly less than this amount. In fact, the median salary for an NHL player during this same season was $1.25 million. This means that half of all NHL players earned less than $1.25 million over the course of a year.
At the top end of the scale, elite players can earn tens of millions of dollars per year. For example, Connor McDavid, one of the league’s best players, signed an eight-year contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers in 2017 that pays him an average of $12.5 million per year. Other top earners include Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who recently signed a five-year extension that will pay him an average of $11.6 million per year, and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, whose current contract pays him an average of $9.54 million per year.
It’s worth noting that salaries in ice hockey can vary widely depending on a player’s position. Generally speaking, forwards and defensemen tend to earn more than goaltenders. For example, during the 2020-2021 season, the average salary for a forward was $3.11 million, while the average salary for a defenseman was $2.84 million. In contrast, the average salary for a goaltender was just $1.68 million.
Another factor that can influence a player’s salary is their experience level. Generally speaking, more experienced players command higher salaries than younger, less established players. For example, during the 2020-2021 season, the average salary for a player with more than 10 years of experience was $4.51 million, while the average salary for a player with 1-2 years of experience was just $850,000.
In conclusion, ice hockey player salaries can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including skill level, position, and experience. While some players earn tens of millions of dollars per year, many earn significantly less. However, even the lowest-paid NHL players earn more than most people do in a year, making professional ice hockey a lucrative career for those with the talent and dedication to excel at the highest levels of the game.