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The Top Earning NHL Players

from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes,

The NHL’s top-earning player for the 2020-2021 season is Auston Matthews. The Toronto Maple Leafs center was scheduled to make $15.9 million in playing salary and bonus, but will instead earn $13 million net of escrow and including deferrals (a bulk of the escrow payment will be deducted from his July 2021 bonus). Matthews’ off-ice income in 2021 from endorsements, memorabilia and licensing is an estimated $3 million, pushing his total income to $16 million.

The athlete endorsement market has gone into a deep freeze during the coronavirus pandemic, but Matthews added new deals last year with Verizon and equipment giant CCM Hockey. They join ongoing partners Nike, Scotiabank and sleep aid Dream Water.

Matthews offers a compelling package for marketers. He was on pace to break the Maple Leafs’ single-season goals record before the season was paused in March. He is a young, fashion-forward, Mexican American playing in the hockey capital of the world.

Matthews spent part of his offseason training with fellow star center Connor McDavid, who ranks as the NHL’s second-highest-paid player with $15.2 million (both are clients of sports agency Wasserman). The 2017 NHL MVP has one of the sport’s top endorsement portfolios, generating an estimated $4.5 million from partners CCM, Adidas, CIBC, BioSteel and more. McDavid’s No. 97 Edmonton Oilers jersey was the NHL’s second best-seller behind Sidney Crosby’s sweater in 2020.

Rounding out the top five are Mitch Marner ($15 million), Alexander Ovechkin ($13.2 million) and Crosby ($11.9 million).


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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