Cap Comparables: Elias Lindholm, Adam Henrique ink new deals

Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving spoke about making a big trade on the second day of the NHL draft, acquiring Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm from the Carolina Hurricanes. (Courtesy: Flames TV)

Brad Treliving locked up yet another key piece of the Calgary Flames’ future, signing recently acquired Elias Lindholm to a six-year contract Monday.

Lindholm’s new deal has a $4.85-million annual salary cap hit, and any Flames fans unfamiliar with the forward’s work with the Carolina Hurricanes should rest easy because based on the 23-year-old’s ceiling and trajectory, it looks as though the Flames are getting solid value here.

Despite his age, Lindholm is about to enter his sixth NHL season and although the consensus is that he hasn’t reached his full potential, he has already established himself as a dependable two-way player.

It will be interesting to see how Flames head coach Bill Peters will use Lindholm in Calgary. The two just spent the past four seasons in Carolina together.

Lindholm, while he does possess some offensive flare, has not yet shown that he’s the type of player capable of putting up numbers like Johnny Gaudreau ($6.75 million AAV) and Sean Monahan ($6.375 million AAV), although that could change quickly if Peters decides to slot him on the right wing on that top line — a scenario many have projected.

 
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He also isn’t the shutdown centre Mikael Backlund ($5.35 million AAV) has become, even though Lindholm operated at a respectable 54.5 per cent clip in the faceoff circle in 2017-18 and can be an asset killing penalties.

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at players around the league on similar contracts to Lindholm’s new deal.

— Bo Horvat (six years, $33 million, $5.5-million cap hit, signed at age 22)
— Mika Zibanejad (five years, $26.75 million, $5.35-million cap hit, signed at age 24)
— J.T. Miller (five years, $26.25 million, $5.25-million cap hit, signed at age 25)
— Nino Niederreiter (six years, $26.25 million, $5.25-million cap hit, signed at age 24)
— Alexander Wennberg (six years, $29.4 million, $4.9-million cap hit, signed at age 22)
— Vincent Trocheck (six years, $28.5 million, $4.75-million cap hit, signed at age 22)
— Nazem Kadri (six years, $27 million, $4.5-million cap hit, signed at age 25)
— Sean Couturier (six years, $26 million, $4.333-million cap hit, signed at age 23)

Lindholm wasn’t the only talented forward to earn a nice chunk of change Monday. The Anaheim Ducks rewarded Adam Henrique with a five-year, $29.1-million extension after the centre shone in the 57 games he spent with the Ducks this past season after being acquired from the New Jersey Devils in a swap for blueliner Sami Vatanen.

Henrique will have a salary cap hit of $4 million in 2018-19 before his new $5.85 million AAV kicks in the following year.

The 28-year-old Canadian is five years older than Lindholm and a more proven goal scorer, hitting the 20-goal plateau in four of the past five seasons while also remaining reliable in his own end so it’s not entirely surprising his new cap hit is $1 million more than the Flames youngster.

Here are some other player contracts more comparable to Henrique’s extension.

— Kyle Turris (six years, $36 million, $6-million cap hit, signed at age 28)
— Brandon Dubinsky (six years, $35.1 million, $5.85-million cap hit, signed at age 28)
— Nick Foligno: (six years, $33 million, $5.5-million cap hit, signed at age 27)
— Andrew Ladd (seven years, $38.5 million, $5.5-million cap hit, signed at age 30)
— Mikael Backlund (six years, $32 million, $5.35-million cap hit, signed at age 29)
— Frans Nielsen (six years, $31.5 million, $5.25-million cap hit, signed at age 32)
— Bryan Little (six years, $31.746 million, $5.291-million cap hit, signed at age 30)
— Artem Anisimov (five years, $22.75 million, $4.55-million cap hit, signed at age 27)

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