Offer sheets are a rare occurrence in the NHL but that doesn’t stop some from trying to use it as leverage over the course of the summer. Some have speculated that this could change this summer with so many prominent restricted free agents in need of new contracts. That list includes Jacob Trouba, Kyle Connor, and Patrik Laine (Winnipeg), Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary), Mitch Marner (Toronto), Sebastian Aho (Carolina), and Mikko Rantanen (Colorado), among many others. Teams now know what the draft pick compensation will cost; TSN’s Gord Miller reports (Twitter link) that the offer sheet thresholds are as follows:
$1,395,053 or below: No compensation required
$1,395,054 to $2,113,716: Third-round pick
$2,113,717 to $4,227,437: Second-round pick
$4,227,438 to $6,341,152: First-round pick plus a third-round pick
$6,341,153 to $8,454,871: First, second, and third-round picks
$8,454,872 to $10,568,589: Two first-round picks plus second and third-round picks
$10,568,590 and over: Four first-round picks
All draft picks must be from the team that gets the player to sign the offer sheet; selections from other teams cannot be substituted. The maximum denominator used in determining the AAV of the cost is five. If a player signs an offer sheet for a term longer than that, the total value of the contract is divided by five and that number will be used as the AAV for determining draft pick compensation, not the average value of the contract itself.
Considering the price tag for someone in the top tier in terms of both salary and draft pick compensation, it’s quite unlikely that anyone potentially in line for that type of payday will be signing an offer sheet. However, the threshold for a second-rounder is at least somewhat intriguing. A $4.25MM AAV is fairly significant and with a second being the cost at that price tag, it’s plausible that a team could target a lower-end player with an offer around that level, forcing the team to match or part with that player for a fairly low return.
Of course, given how infrequently players actually sign an offer sheet, there’s a very good chance that the summer will pass without one actually being submitted. Despite that, expect there to be plenty of speculation about these over the coming months.