The Nashville Predators have handed out a multi-year contract extension to a player still unproven at the NHL level, signing Alexandre Carrier to a three-year deal. The two-way contract will kick in for the 2020-21 season, and carries an average annual value of $733K. Adam Vingan of The Athletic tweets the full breakdown:
- 2020-21: $700K NHL/$125K AHL
- 2021-22: $750K NHL/$175K AHL
- 2022-23: $750K NHL/$200K AHL
Carrier, 23, was a fourth-round pick of the Predators in 2015 but quickly became one of the more interesting defensive prospects in their system. With seasons of 39, 28, 37 and 37 points, his offensive ability has never been contained at the minor league level, and his continued development in his own end makes him a potential candidate for an NHL job next season.
How he’ll perform at the higher level however is still completely undetermined, given that he has played in only five NHL games thus far in his career. The 6’0″ defenseman was set to become a restricted free agent this summer after his entry-level contract expired, but instead of taking a one-year qualifying offer to see how he might perform next season, Carrier will lock into the security of a three-year deal.
That kind of multi-year commitment is par for the course with Predators GM David Poile, who is always looking for ways to maximize value in young players. Should Carrier prove to be an NHL option he will actually come with a cap hit lower than the league minimum in 2021-22, when it increases to $750K.
Though technically this contract is currently scheduled to leave him an RFA again at its conclusion, if Carrier doesn’t receive a legitimate NHL opportunity over the next three years he would become a UFA instead. Should he fail to play in 77 more NHL games, he would qualify for Group VI UFA status as a 26-year old.