Brady Tkachuk cap comparables: Can Senators star exceed expectations?

Elliotte Friedman joined Hockey Central to discuss why it took so long for Brady Tkachuk to sign a contract extension with the Ottawa Senators.

Brady Tkachuk’s 2021-22 campaign is already off to a scorching start.

The Ottawa Senators winger inked a new seven-year, $57.5-million contract Thursday ahead of his team’s home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Brady possesses a very dynamic skill set and is a prototypical power forward in today’s NHL,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a press release. “He scores goals, he plays physical and exemplifies what it means to be a pro for all players in our organization.”

The Sens named Thomas Chabot, Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev and Nick Paul as the team’s leadership group on Thursday, and Tkachuk will also wear an ‘A’ this season.

Tkachuk led Ottawa with 36 points in 56 games one season ago and his 17 goals would have put him on course for a third consecutive 20-goal season had 2020-21 been a full schedule.

The St. Louis native was selected by the Sens fourth overall in 2018 and already has an impressive 125 points in 198 career games.

An obvious comparison to Tkachuk’s new deal is the eight-year, $62-million contract Andrei Svechnikov signed with the Carolina Hurricanes in August.

Svechnikov, 21, was selected two spots ahead of Tkachuk in 2018 and leads that draft class in games played (205) and points (140). Tkachuk, 22, ranks second in both of those categories and he leads in goals (60) and penalty minutes (250).

The key difference between the two deals is Svechnikov received eight years and Tkachuk only seven, which resulted in a slight cap hit variation – Svechnikov’s AAV is $7.75 million, while Tkachuk’s works out to a tad over $8.2 million per year.

Both players are coming off their entry-level contracts and these substantial cap hits come with lofty expectations.

You’ll see why when you read the names of some other forwards in their early- to mid-20s currently on contracts with similar cap hits and term to both Svechnikov and Tkachuk.

• Nico Hischier (22) seven years, $7.25M cap hit through 2027
• Clayton Keller (22) seven years, $7.15M cap hit through 2028
• Sebastian Aho (23) five years, $8.46M cap hit through 2024
• Kirill Kaprizov (24) five years, $9M cap hit through 2026
• Kyle Connor (24) seven years, $7.142M cap hit through 2026
• William Nylander (25) six years, $6.962M cap hit through 2026
• David Pastrnak (25) six years, $6.666M cap hit through 2023
• Leon Draisaitl (25) eight years, $8.5M cap hit through 2025

Nick Suzuki, 22, will also join this group when the eight-year extension he signed with the Canadiens kicks in and Montreal begins paying him his $7.875 million AAV.

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