Connor McDavid just took home his first NHL MVP award, and now he's on the verge of becoming the league's highest-paid player.
The 20-year-old is nearing an extension with the Edmonton Oilers, reportedly worth US$106 million over eight years. The deal, which can't be signed until July 1 and won't kick in until the 2018-19 season, would give McDavid the highest yearly cap hit in the league at $13.25 million.
"We are still working on it," Jeff Jackson, McDavid's agent, told The Canadian Press in an email on Wednesday afternoon.
Jackson declined comment on the terms of the new deal, which were first reported by Sportsnet.
McDavid is obviously well worth the investment, and the distinction of highest-paid player.
The Newmarket, Ont., native led the NHL in scoring in only his second NHL season — the lone player with 100 points. He's one of only five players in the last 20 years to tally 30 goals and 70 assists in the same season, an esteemed group that also includes Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Evgeni Malkin, and Jaromir Jagr.
In addition to the Hart trophy as league MVP, McDavid was also awarded the Ted Lindsay Award as most "outstanding" player as voted by his peers and Art Ross trophy as the league's leading scorer.
Chicago Blackhawk teammates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane currently share the highest annual salary cap at $10.5 million.
The Oilers will also be looking at a new contract this summer for 21-year-old restricted free agent Leon Draisaitl, one that would kick in this fall. The combination of those two looming deals was a factor in the recent trading of Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders and mean the Oilers will require plenty of cap manoeuvring in the years to come.
McDavid alone would eat up 17.7 per cent of the cap in 2018 — assuming it stays flat at $75 million.
Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press