7:04 p.m.: CapFriendly released a breakdown of Skjei’s new six-year, $31.5MM contract, which will have a $28.5MM base salary as well as $3MM in signing bonus money. Here is the breakdown:
2018-19: $4.7M Base + $1M SB
2019-20: $4.4M Base + $1M SB
2020-21: $4.2M Base
2021-22: $4.4M Base + $1M SB
2022-23: $5.4M Base
2023-24: $5.4M Base
11:33 a.m.: The Rangers have locked up a key part of their back end, announcing that they have re-signed defenseman Brady Skjei to a six-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports (Twitter link) that the deal carries a $5.25MM cap hit.
The 24-year-old was the only Ranger to play in all 82 games last season. While his production dipped from 39 points to 25 (4-21-25), he took on a lot larger of a role on New York’s back end, jumping from 17:28 of playing time per game to 21:02. Skjei was also only one of eight NHL players to record at least 150 shots, 125 hits, and 115 blocks.
With Ryan McDonagh now in Tampa Bay, it’s likely that the Rangers will be relying on Skjei even more next season and beyond. New York still has Kevin Shattenkirk and Marc Staal as veterans on their blueline but with their stated goal of rebuilding around their younger nucleus, there’s a good chance that Skjei could be tasked with the number one role in 2018-19 and for several years after that.
The signing now gives the Rangers just two remaining restricted free agents to re-sign in centers Kevin Hayes and Ryan Spooner. Both are slated for arbitration hearings next week with Hayes scheduled for August 2nd and Spooner for August 4th.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.