The Carolina Hurricanes have worked out a deal with one of their most important players. Andrei Svechnikov, a restricted free agent this summer, has signed an eight-year contract with the Hurricanes that will carry an average annual value of $7.75MM. GM Don Waddell released a statement on the deal:
Andrei is one of the cornerstones of this organization, and we are thrilled to reach a long-term commitment to keep him here. He is one of the brightest rising stars in our sport, and will play a key role in our efforts to bring the Stanley Cup to the Triangle this decade.
The contract contains a modified no-trade clause (Svechnikov will submit a list of ten teams he can be traded to) in the four unrestricted free agent years that it buys out, and the full salary breakdown is as follows:
- 2021-22: $2.0MM salary + $4.0MM signing bonus
- 2022-23: $7.0MM salary
- 2023-24: $9.0MM salary
- 2024-25: $9.0MM salary
- 2025-26: $10.0MM salary
- 2026-27: $7.0MM salary
- 2027-28: $6.0MM salary
- 2028-29: $8.0MM salary
Since being the second-overall pick in 2018, Svechnikov has done what he always does–score. The 21-year-old forward has 59 goals and 140 points in 205 career games, including a strong 42-point effort in the shortened 2020-21 campaign. His size, skill, and skating ability make him a threat all over the ice, carrying the puck through the neutral zone or battling in front of the net for space. It’s hard to find many more well-rounded wingers in the league, and Svechnikov appears to be just scratching the surface of his offensive upside.
While this may seem like a huge salary for a player coming out of his entry-level contract (and it is), the deal represents a ton of security for the Hurricanes. They now have their young star locked in through basically all of his prime years at a relatively reasonable price. Skipping a bridge deal means that they won’t get any savings over the next two or three seasons, but buying out four UFA seasons is a big win for the Hurricanes. They can now move forward knowing exactly how much their top forwards cost. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen both have three years left on their respective deals.
Not that Svechnikov is missing out. The young forward will have the 49th highest cap hit in the NHL this season, and though that will drop down a few pegs as he moves forward and other players ink more expensive deals, he’s still being paid quite handsomely. If he does turn into the 40-goal, MVP-type that some believe he can be, it will be a steal for the Hurricanes. But more likely is that he’s paid appropriately for his impact and the team can build around him as the salary cap gets back on track.
This deal will be used as a comparable by other restricted free agents around the league, though the player agents may not be very excited about it. Brady Tkachuk, for instance, who was drafted just two spots after Svechnikov in 2018 and has similar offensive numbers through the first part of his career, is also an RFA with the Ottawa Senators.
The Hurricanes though are now finished with their RFA negotiations, meaning they have certainty over their cap situation for 2021-22. They currently project to have a little more than $4.5MM, meaning they could potentially go after another UFA or target a bigger contract in trade.
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