The Colorado Avalanche have signed star forward Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year extension worth $12.6 million annually, making him the highest-paid player in the NHL.
The contract, worth $100.8 million in its entirety, doesn't kick in until 2023-24.
MacKinnon is entering the final season of a six-year, $44.1-million ($6.3M AAV) contract signed in 2016 — which earned him the reputation as one of the NHL's most underpaid players.
His new average annual value of $12.6 million, which exactly doubles his current contract, surpasses Connor McDavid's $12.5 AAV.
The contract breaks down as follows, according to CapFriendly:
2023-24: $15.725M signing bonus, $775K base salary
2024-25: $15.725M signing bonus, $775K base salary
2025-26: $15.25M signing bonus, $800K base salary
2026-27: $3M signing bonus, $9.15M base salary
2027-28: $8.91M signing bonus, $990K base salary
2028-29: $8.91M signing bonus, $990K base salary
2029-30: $8.91M signing bonus, $990K base salary
2030-31: $8.91M signing bonus, $990K base salary
In total, $85.34 million on his contract will be paid in signing bonuses. The $100.8 million is the fourth largest contract in NHL history.
The 27-year-old, drafted No. 1 overall by the Avalanche in 2013, has played his entire nine-year NHL career in Colorado thus far.
This past season, the Halifax-area native was a key player in the Avalanche's run to the Stanley Cup — leading the team with 13 goals in the playoffs, adding 11 assists and contributing a key goal and assist in the championship-clinching Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Since 2017-18, his fifth season in the league, MacKinnon has produced 167 goals and 275 assists (442 points) in 338 games. His list of accolades includes: a Stanley Cup in 2022, a Calder Trophy in 2013-14 and a Lady Byng in 2019-20.
Though MacKinnon has never won a Hart Trophy as the league's MVP, he has twice finished second (2017-18, 2019-20) and once finished third (2020-21) in the voting.
"Nathan is obviously one of the premier players in the NHL so a long-term extension was something we wanted to get done before the season started," said Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland in a press release.
"He has that rare combination of speed and power with a high compete level that makes him a generational player. We are thrilled he will continue to be a member of this team and this community for many years to come."
Extending MacKinnon is just Colorado's latest piece of business in a busy off-season. The club also extended forwards Valeri Nichushkin (eight years, $49 million) and Artturi Lehkonen (five years, $4.5 million), and defenceman Josh Manson (four years, $18 million).
Mackinnon will become the Avalanche's highest-paid player by a wide margin, eclipsing Mikko Rantanen's $9.25-million AAV which previously held as the team's highest total.
Cale Makar, Colorado's other superstar who won the 2022 Conn Smyth as playoff MVP, is signed at $9 million a season through 2026-27.
The defending Cup champions now have MacKinnon, Makar, Rantanen, captain Gabriel Landeskog, Nichushkin, Lehkonen, Josh Manson, Samuel Girard, Logan O'Connor and Alexandar Georgiev under contract for the next three seasons.