Cap comparables: How good is Hoffman’s new deal with Senators?

Senators Mike Hoffman snaps home his 15th goal on the season and the winner in a 4-2 win over the Panthers.

It’s a good day to be an Ottawa Senators fan.

The team avoided arbitration with Mike Hoffman and came to terms on a favourable four-year, $20.75-million contract with their best goal scorer.

It comes with an annual salary cap hit of $5,187,500 and a modified no-trade clause in the final three years of the deal.

It looks like this could be a bargain of a deal when you consider what he has proven himself to be capable of.

Hoffman has led the Senators in goals in each of the past two seasons. His 56 goals during that time (46 of which came at even strength) ranks 20th in the league ahead of players like Phil Kessel, Jordan Eberle, Blake Wheeler, Loui Eriksson, Jeff Carter and Brandon Saad, all of whom make more than Hoffman.

The 26-year-old Kitchener, Ont., native made $2 million last season so his new deal will bring with it fatter paycheques and increased expectations.

With that in mind, here are a handful of players with similar contracts that Hoffman will likely be compared to in the coming years.

Jaden Schwartz (five years, $26.75 million, $5.35-million cap hit)

Schwartz is the best player you’ll see mentioned here and the five-year, $26.75-million deal he signed earlier this month was one of the best contracts handed out this summer. The 24-year-old missed most of the regular season dealing with a fractured ankle, but was solid for the Blues in the playoffs registering 14 points in 20 games. Schwartz has better playmaking ability than Hoffman and is a more well-rounded two-way player, while also having the 30-goal potential Hoffman does.

Kyle Palmieri (five years, $23.25 million, $4.65-million cap hit)

The 25-year-old inked his deal with the Devils on July 7 after a career year in New Jersey. Palmieri has played 94 more games than Hoffman despite being nearly two years younger. Palmieri has more upside and is a right-handed shot but, statistically speaking, the two wingers are coming of nearly identical seasons. The Smithtown, N.Y., native was recently named to Team USA’s World Cup of Hockey 2016 roster, replacing veteran Ryan Callahan who underwent hip surgery in June.

Brayden Schenn (four years, $20.5 million, $5.125-million cap hit)

In terms of contract details, Schenn is the player most similar to Hoffman. On the ice, however, it’s a different story. Schenn is a centre so his 200-foot game is on a completely different level than Hoffman’s, as is his ability to forecheck, and he has a much more physical style. Schenn’s offensive output has steadily increased in each season as a pro. Both players ended up with 59 points last season.

Reilly Smith (five years, $25 million, $5-million cap hit)

If you love multiples of five, this will be an oddly satisfying sentence to read: Smith, entering his fifth season in the NHL, signed a five-year, $25-million extension following a 25-goal, 25-assist campaign. Smith isn’t quite the sniper Hoffman is, but it didn’t stop him from fitting in nicely in his first year with the Panthers.

Other cap comparables:
Jason Pominville, five years, $28 million, $5.6 million cap hit
Dave Bolland, five years, $27.5 million, $5.5 million cap hit
Joffrey Lupul, five years, $26.25 million, $5.25 million cap hit
Derick Brassard, five years, $25 million, $5 million cap hit
Michael Cammalleri, five years, $25 million, $5 million cap hit
Matt Moulson, five years, $25 million, $5 million cap hit
Gustav Nyquist, four years, $19 million, $4.75 million cap hit
Marcus Johansson, three years, $13.75 million, $4,583,333 million cap hit
Mats Zuccarello, four years, $18 million, $4.5 million cap hit
Troy Brouwer, four years, $18 million, $4.5 million cap hit

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