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Pettersson could challenge for NHL's fourth-highest cap hit under new deal


Vancouver Canucks star centre Elias Pettersson appears to be on the verge on joining the NHL's highest-paid players for the 2024-25 season.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Thursday that the term remains to be decided for the pending restricted free agent, but he suspects Pettersson will become the seventh player to carry a cap hit of $11.5 million or more in 2024-25.

"Pettersson's agents, J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson, engaged with Canucks management on Tuesday and discussions have continued over the course of this week," Dreger explained on Insider Trading. "And they're negotiating on a variety of options. Now it's important to note, a player of this magnitude normally can command a term of anywhere from three years of course to the eight-year maximum.

"As for the annual average salary, I suspect that it could come in just slightly above William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs at $11.5 million, but again, ongoing discussions. When they complete the process the agents will take all of these options to Pettersson, and he will decide which is the best fit for his future."

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews is set to take over the mark of the league's highest-paid player next season from Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon, who held the title for the first time this season as his new deal with a $12.6 million AAV kicked in. Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, at an average annual value $12.5 million, held the mark of being the league's highest-paid player for five seasons before MacKinnon surpassed him.

If Pettersson's new salary surpasses Nylander’s, who signed his extension in January, the 25-year-old Swede could be fighting for as a high as fourth on the list. New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin currently holds that spot with an $11.64 million cap hit. 

Pettersson could become the first member of the Canucks to hold double-digit salary, with forward J.T. Miller currently serving as the team's highest-paid player at an $8 million salary.

NHL's Highest-Paid Players - 2024-25 Season

Player Team Cap Hit
1. Auston Matthews TOR $13.25M
2. Nathan MacKinnon COL $12.6M
3. Connor McDavid EDM $12.5M
4. Artemi Panarin NYR $11.64M
T5. William Nylander TOR $11.5M
T5. Erik Karlsson PIT $11.5M*
7. David Pastrnak BOS $11.25M
T8. Rasmus Dahlin BUF $11M
T8. Drew Doughty LAK $11M
T8. John Tavares TOR $11M
11. Mitchell Marner TOR $10.9M
T12. Carey Price MON $10.5M
T12. Jonathan Huberdeau CAL $10.5M
T14. Aleksander Barkov FLA $10M
T14. Jack Eichel VGK $10M
T14. Sergei Bobrovsky FLA $10M

*The San Jose Sharks retained $1.5 million of Karlsson's cap hit in last year's trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pettersson, who is on the verge on topping the 30-goal mark for the third consecutive season, has 29 goals and 75 points this season. He reached career highs with 39 goals and 63 assists last season, topping the 100-point plateau for the first time in his NHL career.

Currently in the final year of a three-year, $22.05 million contract, he has a cap hit of $7.35 million this season.