Draisaitl's annual cap hit of $8.5 million is a hefty price for a player that isn't the face of a franchise, but if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks with their multiple Stanley Cup victories are any indication it's a strategy that can pay off hugely. The 21-year-old has quickly emerged as one of the best young centers in the National Hockey League, and the Oilers have shown their commitment to him with this huge contract. Spoiler alert: he will be well worth it.
It's the second massive contract extension handed out by Edmonton this offseason.
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The Oilers chose him in the first round (third overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. For this season, Cap Friendly projects the Oilers with roughly $8 million in cap space.
Just like Draisaitl, Johansen had a breakout performance during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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In securing his long-term rights, the Oilers are betting on Draisaitl, a restricted free agent and one of only seven German NHLers last season, to thrive with or without McDavid, the reigning victor of the Art Ross and Hart trophies and Ted Lindsay Award. As long as Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are healthy and on the Caps, Kuznetsov will likely never be the go-to star in Washington. The future of the team is obviously going to be centered around McDavid and Draisaitl. He had 29 goals and 48 assists, good for 77 points, second to only Connor McDavid on the team.
In 151 career games with Minnesota Duluth, Toninato accumulated 91 points (54 goals, 37 assists) and finished with a plus-43 rating.
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