Average Salary for NHL Players in 2022 (Compared to other Sports)

NHL is the biggest sport in North America for a number of reasons. The league is known as the NHL, and it has the best players in the world. Hockey fans all around the world wanted to know more about their favorite hockey stars, so we researched how much each NHL player will make in 2022.

There is no such thing as an “average” income. Each club has $81.5 million in cap space for this season and since there are 23 players on the active roster, the average salary per player is roughly $3.5 million.

NHL is the biggest sport in North America, with most fans all over the world. We researched how much each NHL player will make.

How much does an NHL player make?

NHL games are broadcasted in more than 150 countries and territories around the world. The league has enjoyed a strong following from fans outside North America, particularly in locales such as Scandinavia, Russia, and even China.

Over the years, the average wage for a player in the NHL has steadily increased, presently reaching over $3 million each year, and each team has $81.5 million in cap space for such season, with 23 players on the active roster. The salary in the NHL ranges from $700,000 to $12.5 million each year.

For participating in the postseason, NHL players do not get special compensation. Because contracts are paid from July 1 to June 30, players continue to collect their pay based on their yearly contracts after the playoffs. The Player Fund is referred to as the Player Fund in Article 28 of the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Do NHL players make more than NFL players?

In sports, there are a number of comparisons made between the National Hockey League and the National Football League.  This comparison doesn’t hold up to scrutiny since specific types of NFL players tend to be grossly over-represented in these figures. In contrast, specific types of NHL players tend to be under-represented.

The average NFL salary is $2.1 million, while the average NHL salary is $3 million. This would indicate that NHL players make more than NFL players.

However, the Average Salary statistic does not take into account any outside factors such as different league requirements and player positions. For example, Quarterbacks in both leagues tend to make more money on average, but there are many more of them in the NFL making a much larger base salary compared to the NHL.

When considering the Average Salary statistic, Hockey bloggers put too much weight on it while ignoring other factors that may better represent player compensation. Since NFL teams can field eleven players at one time while NHL teams can only field six players at one time, the total number of possible positions in an NFL game is more than twice that of an NHL game which would mean NFL teams should have more players making higher salaries than NHL teams.

Who gets paid more, baseball or hockey?

There would be no hockey players on a list of the world’s top 100 highest-paid athletes. Basketball, football, football, and baseball are among the most successful sports in the world, but hockey players are the only ones who make it.

Let’s take a look at the four major leagues in North America — the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB – to understand why hockey is lagging behind the rest of the globe.

Type of LeagueLow IncomeAverage IncomeHigh Income
NHL$750,000$3 million$12.5 million
NFL$495,000$2.1 million$35 million
MBL$550,000$4.36 million$37.7 million
NBA$582,000$7 million$37.44 million

In the NHL, there is a hard salary cap of $59.4 million per team, not including bonuses. In contrast, in MLB and the NFL, there are no limits on what one team may spend on players. The richest teams in these leagues have a lot more money to spend on salaries than some NHL teams do. The bottom 10 teams in the NFL and MLB earn as much as or more than some NHL teams.

In contrast, the NBA has a soft cap that limits how much teams can spend on salaries. There are only so many top players in all sports, but basketball is second to hockey in its number of international players. This makes it possible for an exceptional player who goes undrafted in the NHL to still play at the highest levels available. How does this play out in the numbers?

Unfortunately, for NHL players, U.S.-born athletes are paid much more than hockey stars of other nationalities for NHL players. This may be one reason why so many talented Canadian prospects skip over the NHL Draft altogether and opt to play NCAA basketball instead. Although this is still an option for young Canadians today, it’s not as effective as it used to be.

NHL players are at a major disadvantage compared with athletes in other professional sports when it comes to international competition, which can result in huge financial benefits for athletes who play elsewhere. The FIFA World Cup of soccer pays out far more than the Olympics does to its members, and that prize falls largely into the hands of the international stars on the U.S. national teams. The same goes for the World Cup of Hockey and most other international hockey tournaments, from world championships to ice hockey at the Winter Olympics. For some countries, this is a massive source of income for some countries they can’t afford to miss out on.

There’s a large talent pool available to the NBA, NFL, and MLB from which to choose, but not so much for teams in the NHL outside of Canada and the northern U.S. or Europe. This places more emphasis on building up an entire team rather than just focusing on a few stars.

Why is NHL so underpaid?

The NHL has long been the 4th most attended sport in North America, yet its players are still not making that much money. There are many factors that contribute to this problem.

Ticket sales and broadcasting rights for television are the major sources of revenue for a professional sports team. Because the NHL’s TV arrangement generates far less revenue than the NFL, MLB, or NBA, it has less money to pay its players.  This is the primary reason that the NHL players are paid less than their counterparts in other major sports. It doesn’t help that most of the franchises are in financial trouble or are owned poorly.

The lack of revenue is mostly due to the fact that the NHL only has one national TV contract for its games, not regional ones like most other sports do. It’s also because there are many small markets in the NHL instead of just a few major ones, thus limiting the advertising dollars available. The good news for fans is that the NHL is looking to expand into some of the biggest potential markets, like Seattle.

The NFL’s revenue-sharing model helps contribute to its players’ salary cap too. The more successful teams are required to share their revenues with less successful ones to make it easier for all teams to afford high player salaries.

The NHL’s revenue-sharing model is not as strong and has been the subject of criticism for years. There are great disparities between what some teams earn and what some others spend on their players. This problem is compounded by the fact that the league only just put a salary cap into place this past season as part of its new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association.

Who is the highest-paid NHL player?

NHL has been dubbed as one of the toughest sports in the world. But at the same time, it’s also a lucrative one for many of its players.

While some NHL stars are paid millions, especially those who will be playing on their team’s top lines, not all players become high-salary earners.

In fact, only a few of them actually make over $5 million per year.

Most of the NHL players who became a millionaire are those who come from rich backgrounds and were born into certain affluent families. Many young people aspire to become professional hockey players as a way to earn money and support their families financially.

Although Auston Matthews is the finest sharpshooter in the NHL, he was the league’s top scorer last season, Connor McDavid has the most goals this season and is the top earner with $16.4 million for the 2021-22 season, the 24-year-old captain of the Edmonton Oilers reclaims the top place on Forbes’ list of the NHL’s highest-paid players.

The Oilers are in the fourth year of Connor McDavid’s eight-year, $100 million deal, and he has shown to be a worthy investment, winning his second Hart Trophy as league MVP last season. With the escrow adjustment, the 24-year-old center’s salary and signing bonus for this season will be reduced from $15 million to $12.4 million. However, he can still depend on a strong roster of sponsorships from Adidas, CIBC, CCM hockey equipment, and Rogers Communications. BioSteel, a sports nutrition company, and Buzzer, a mobile streaming platform, have also signed stock partnerships with him.

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