Oilers Sign Draisaitl to Eight-Year Deal

by | Aug 16, 2017 | News, NHL, Rumors | 11 comments

Oilers sign Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year deal.

The Edmonton Oilers announced the signing of forward Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year, $68 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an annual salary-cap hit of $8.5 million, well above the $7 million annually that some (myself included) anticipated. No word yet if this will be front-loaded or how much might be paid out in signing bonuses. Factor in teammate Connor McDavid’s $12.5 million annual cap hit over eight years starting in 2018-19, and the Oilers will be paying those two a combined $21 million annually for seven seasons through 2024-25.

Still, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Oilers paid out this much for the 21-year-old Draisaitl. He followed up a promising 51-point sophomore campaign in 2015-16 with 77 points last season, plus 16 points in 13 playoff games. He’s a skilled playmaker who emerged from McDavid’s shadow in the 2017 postseason. The duo give the Oilers the most lethal offensive punch since the 1980s heyday of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.

Critics will argue the Oilers paid too much Draisaitl, just as they complained about McDavid’s giant contract a month ago. The fact is, however, the Oilers are simply following the example of championship teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins (Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin) and Chicago Blackhawks (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews), locking up their two young superstars in hopes of building a championship around those foundation players in the coming years.

As long as McDavid and Draisaitl play up to expectations over the course of their respective deals, it could be money well spent. For long-suffering Oilers fans accustomed to a steady parade of top talent departing Edmonton via trades or free agency since the early 1990s, it must be refreshing to see the club lock up their two best players to long-term deals.

Of course, in today’s salary-cap world, these contracts could eventually handcuff the Oilers as the contracts of Kane and Toews have for the Blackhawks. The trick for general manager Peter Chiarelli is to figure out how to work around that problem the way the Penguins did.

Draisaitl’s new deal could also affect the Boston Bruins’ efforts to re-sign restricted free agent winger David Pastrnak, who is coming off a career-best 34-goal, 70-point performance. It’s thought the Bruins want to keep his annual cap hit below that of Brad Marchand’s $6.125 million. Draisaitl’s new deal could tempt the Pastrnak camp into pushing for something closer to $7 million. 

 








11 Comments

  1. Great signing as to be competitive you need to be solid down the middle!Like in the days of Gretzky and Messier,McDavid and Draisaitl will be a formidable force!Draisaitl will only get better with time and much like Messier has a bit of a nasty streak to compliment his game.Hopefully they keep him at center apart from the pp as he excels when he can control the puck much like McDavid and how many teams have 2 checking centres???

    • Pittsburgh; Crosby and oh yeah Malkin! This is a great day for Edmonton. Multiple Cups on the way!

      • Multiple cups on the way
        My version ..
        Multiple cup appearances perhaps..
        But the Leafs will stand alone in the end , as Holy Grail Champions !!

    • Oiler fans will certainly greet this with smiles

    • Great signings? how, where were they going? no wears. If anything this is poor management of the cap. Unfortunately that’s PC thing. Drausaitl could’ve been signed first at $6.5 or $7 even a max of $7.5 then sign MacDavid at $11 max $11.5 the savings between $2.5m to $3.5 is a big difference in the quality of player you can bring in to supplement the top heavy.
      What change from yesterday to today is nothing other then less cap money to spend. This team still has to beat Calgary who has one of the best defense in the NHL. Battle of Alberta will be fun.

      • no wears of another teams uniforms, try to fix my bad wear.

  2. Wow if only I had been a better skater. 51 pets gets you a boat load of money these days. Who said the rangers are the team driving up contract prices. Lol

    • 51 as a rookie. 77 sophmore… Plus 16 in 13 playoff games.
      Maybe should’ve done those power skating clinics

      • Sorry, 51 was sophomore. 77 3rd season

  3. Crosby Malkin is 18.2. Ability to add a 1 decent player and still be less than McDavid/Draisaitl. RNH will have to be moved

  4. I think the big difference is Pitt and Chicago paid those contracts AFTER the players delivered championships, not before. These two haven’t accomplished anything yet. They’re being paid on the possibility. Lucic’s contracts will hamstring them. EDM better hope the salary cap starts going up soon.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Twitter reacts to Edmonton Oilers signing Leon Draisaitl: “That’s a lot of cheddar.” | Edmonton Journal - […] Hockey writer Lyle Richardson, Spector’s Hockey Critics will argue the Oilers paid too much Draisaitl, just as they complained…