Roman Josi has had a $4-million cap hit since 2013-14, making him one of the best bang-for-your-buck talents in the entire NHL.
A phenomenal skater with elite zone entries and exits, the Nashville Predators defenceman finally earned a massive pay raise Tuesday by signing an eight-year extension worth $72.242 million.
As it stands right now, Josi will enter the 2020-21 campaign as the third-highest-paid defenceman in the league behind past Norris Trophy recipients Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty.
Josi’s new cap hit is $9.059 million per season (that pays homage to the No. 59 Josi has worn his entire NHL career) beginning next year, which amounts to 11.12 per cent of the salary cap, according to CapFriendly.
It’s a significant commitment from the Preds, yes, but unless his play takes a serious dip in quality over the next couple years, Josi has unequivocally proven he’s worth the lucrative price tag. The seventh captain in Predators franchise history ranks third in shots, fourth in points, fifth in ice-time, and seventh in blocked shots among all defencemen since his current contract kicked in more than six years ago.
The Bern, Switzerland, native has received Norris Trophy consideration in each of the past five years with two fifth-place finishes, two seventh-place finishes and an 11th-place finish in voting for the league’s top defenceman.
He also happens to be off to the hottest start to a season he’s ever had. Heading into Tuesday’s action, John Carlson of the Washington Capitals is the only blueliner with more points than Josi’s 13 through 11 games.
Josi’s defensive partner, Ryan Ellis, is in the first of the eight-year, $50-million extension he inked last August. Next year, that pair will take up more than $15 million in cap space whenever they’re out on the ice. Based on their production, that’s not overpriced either. Ellis also has 13 points in 11 games so far this season.
Now that Josi’s cap hit is more in line with his talents, here are a handful of defencemen from around the league who are on similar contracts to the one he just signed:
— Erik Karlsson: eight years, $92 million, $11.5-million cap hit (14.47 per cent)
— Drew Doughty: eight years, $88 million, $11-million cap hit (13.84 per cent)
— P.K. Subban: eight years, $72 million, $9-million cap hit (13.04 per cent)
— Oliver Ekman-Larsson: eight years, $66 million, $8.25-million cap hit (10.38 per cent)
— John Carlson: eight years, $64 million, $8-million cap hit (10.06 per cent)
— Victor Hedman: eight years, $63 million, $7.875-million cap hit (10.79 per cent)
— Jared Spurgeon: seven years, $53.025 million, $7.575-million cap hit (9.29 per cent)
**All contract figures courtesy of CapFriendly with cap-hit percentage at time of signing in parentheses.
“Roman Josi is one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League and our team leader as captain,” Preds general manager David Poile said in a press release announcing the signing. “As he enters his prime, we look forward to Roman continuing to showcase his elite skills in Smashville and guiding our team in pursuit of the ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup.”
Poile almost never gives out no-trade or no-movement clauses, however he thinks so highly of Josi that he included a full no-movement clause on this deal that’s set to expire in 2028.