We finally saw an offer sheet used last summer as the Montreal Canadiens signed Sebastian Aho to a five-year deal, but the deal was quickly matched by the Carolina Hurricanes. Aho stayed put, but the team had to turn down a big package of draft picks that Montreal would have had to surrender.
Offer sheet compensation is based on the average salary of the league, and the NHL has released the thresholds for this year. Below is the full breakdown, with the contract’s average annual value placing it in one of seven tiers:
|$1,439,820 or less||No compensation|
|$1,439,820 to $2,181,545||Third-round pick|
|$2,181,545 to $4,363,095||Second-round pick|
|$4,363,095 to $6,544,640||First and third-round picks|
|$6,544,640 to $8,726,188||First, second and third-round picks|
|$8,726,188 to $10,907,735||Two firsts, a second and third-round picks|
|Over $10,907,735||Four first-round picks|
It is important to note that any team trying to sign a player to an applicable offer sheet must use their own draft picks for compensation, not ones that have been acquired. That rules several teams out already from signing high profile RFAs, unless they were to work to reacquire their picks before submitting the contract.
There are some restricted free agents, like Philadelphia’s Nolan Patrick, that have not accumulated enough time in the NHL to be eligible for an offer sheet. The full list of eligible players can be found here. For more information about the details of offer sheets, check out CapFriendly’s FAQ.