How much can you earn being a pro hockey player?
Ice hockey is one of the most popular winter sports, and despite being one of the most expensive one for kids to train, it pays off being good at it. Professional hockey comprises several levels of play, with teams in the top leagues worldwide, such as North America’s National Hockey League (NHL), paying their players millions per year. In fact, NHL franchise values are soaring with the average team now worth $594 million, and according to Statista, the average NHL player’s salary of 2018/19 is $2,78 million, with Los Angeles Kings paying as much as $3,54 million on average per year.
Of course, the NHL is regarded by most players as the most competitive league in the world, so large paychecks are not a surprising thing. But there are nice compensations also in other leagues, for example, Russia’s Kontinental League (KHL) have paid star players between $1 million and $5.5 million, as of 2016, with Alexander Radulov earning $5.75 million.
Here we checked who were the highest-paid ice hockey players overall according to their on- and off-ice salary in 2017/18 season. Listed endorsements include income from sponsors, appearances, licensing and memorabilia. The total earning of the top 10 NHL’s players was of $133 million. Wanna see the breakdown? Continue reading.
The highest-paid hockey player for the second consecutive year is the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Jonathan Bryan Toews, with a total earning of $16 million. His income is combined of $13.8 million on-ice salary and around 2.2 million U.S. dollars off-ice.
Towers professional hockey career started in 2007/8 after he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by Blackhawks. He was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year and named team captain right the following season, becoming the second-youngest captain in NHL history at the time (after Sidney Crosby). At the age 25, he already had three Stanely Cups (2010, 2013, 2015), two Olympic gold medals (2010, 2014) and a Conn Smythe Trophy (2010).
Canadian player signed an eight-year, $84 million contracts in July 2014, receiving the NHL’s highest annual salary each of the past three seasons. He was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017 and had the NHL’s best-selling jersey in 2015/2016. His endorsement package includes Canadien Tire, Bauer, Frameworth, Hallmark, Chevrolet, and Upper Deck. Province of Manitoba named a northern lake after Toews in honour of his success after Stanley Cup’s victory, and there is also a Jonathan Toews Community Centre in St. Vital where he first played organized hockey.
Sidney Crosby, also named as “Sid the Kid”, was the highest NHL player for eight straight years, until Toews took the crown in 2016/2017. He’s now following second for two consecutive years with a total salary of $15.7 million, mostly thanks to his marketing income of $4.8 million, which is still the highest one in the NHL. Remaining $10.9 million of his income comes from salary on-ice, and is just seventh highest in the NHL this season.
Crosby made his NHL debut in 2005/6, being selected first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He finished as a runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year and became the youngest player and the only teenager to win a scoring title in any major North American sports league, by leading the NHL with 120 points to capture the Art Ross Trophy next season. This 31-year-old Canadian became the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup and is widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Crosby remains a popular sponsors target with an unmatched portfolio in the NHL. In May 2010 it was announced that he would sign a five to a seven-year contract with Reebok, banking him $1.4 million a year, which was the richest endorsement deal in NHL history. He also signed a six-year deal with Adidas in 2015 and is now tipped by many other commercial giants, such as Frameworth, Gatorade Canada, Bell, CCM, Tim Horton’s, Upper Deck, Verizon and Hallmark. His game-worn jersey from the first period of the 2007 All-Star Game was sold for $47,520, which is more than eight times the next highest price of $5,681. His jersey was also the NHL’s top seller from 2005 to 2008 and in 2016/17 season.
Following third is U.S. ice hockey right winger for the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Timothy Kane II, with the total earning of $14.8 million. His on-ice salary of 13.8 million U.S. dollars shares the first place with Towers, while his endorsement deals this season pocketed him approximately $1 million.
Kane was the first overall pick by Blackhawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs in 2013. He is the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring leader with 106 points and was also the first American- born player to win the Hart Trophy during the 2015/16. Kane shares the highest on-ice income with his mate Towers, signing a matching eight-year contract of $84 million, and was as well proclaimed as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.
Kane had the NHL’s second best-selling jersey in 2016/17. His sponsorship pack includes the deal with Bauer Hockey and Chevrolet, while he also appeared in commercials for McDonald’s and Gatorade.
You can check the full list of top 10 highest-paid ice hockey players of 2017/18 down below. Wouldn’t be bad to have athletes of the same kidney on our platform, would it? 😉