Ramblings: Contracts for Seider and Zegras; Buffalo’s Big Boys Shine; Rust; Matheson & More

Alexander MacLean

2022-11-23

I'll be posting the updated salary cap keeper rankings on the 25th (skaters) and 26th (goalies), so keep an eye out for those. Even with Moritz Seider's slow start, he's still holding off Trevor Zegras for the top spot in the rankings this month. The value you're getting for an offensive Dman with his upside on a rookie contract – not just this year, but for next year too – is irreplaceable. No matter what he signs for on his next deal, it will be worth it. If he was eligible to sign an extension today to kick in next summer, it would be projected at $6.2 million per year. That is only going to rise as he gets closer to his entry level deal expiring.

I like Aaron Ekblad and his mega-deal coming off his entry-level contract as a comparable. Ekblad was a top-pair defenceman at that point, though his offence hadn't quite shone in the way Seider's already has. Ekblad's cap hit at the time that contract was signed was over 10% of the total team cap. For Seider to match that in signing a contract to kick in for fall of 2024, with the cap expected to balloon in the meantime, we could be looking at an AAV over $9 million.

If you look at more recent comparables with Cale Makar, Adam Fox, and Quinn Hughes, it's not difficult to see that the average cap hit of the top young defencemen may already be there. Seider hasn't yet put up the same point totals as these players, but there aren't a lot of perfect comparables for him at this point.

Overall, an eight-figure AAV for Seider isn't out of the question at this point. Felt like I should set that expectation now for these players, because there's a wave of massive contracts coming, and it's going to come a lot faster than many of us may expect.

*

Trevor Zegras' projected AAV right now is $8.3 million. He's scoring close to a point-per-game on the worst team in the standings right now. Hopefully the Ducks realize they need to get him locked u