Cap Value of the Top Scoring Forwards

by Chris Pudsey on November 26, 2015
  • Capped
  • Cap Value of the Top Scoring Forwards

Looking at the cap value of each of the NHL's top 10 scorers.

In last weeks Capped, we took a look at the top scoring defensemen so far this season and compared their point total to the salary cap hit their respective teams where paying out. 

In this week’s Capped, we will take a look at the top scoring forwards at this point in the season and see how they fare in regards to the money they are getting paid and who is the best “bang for the buck”, so to say.

I looked at the top 10 in league scoring and listed them below but there were quite a few tied with 21 points so I took the top two goal scorers to round out my top 10 list. 

After listening to some readers from last weeks column, my overall end value in this column will be based on points per million of cap hit. (Points/Cap hit)

Listed below are the top 10 scorers, in order of actual points, in the NHL today:

 

Name

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

SH%

Cap Hit

Value

Jamie Benn

DAL

22

16

16

32

25.8

5.25M

6.09

Patrick Kane

CHI

21

13

19

32

16.9

10.5M

3.04

Tyler Seguin

DAL

22

12

19

31

13.6

5.75M

5.31

Taylor Hall

EDM

21

9

15

24

9.9

6.0M

4

Daniel Sedin

VAN

22

10

13

23

11.2

7.0M

3.29

Blake Wheeler

ARI

22

8

14

22

12.9

5.6M

3.93

David Krejci

BOS

20

8

14

22

16.3

7.25M

3.03

Vladimir Tarasenko

STL

21

13

9

22

16.3

7.5M

2.93

Nathan MacKinnon

COL

21

9

12

21

12

0.925M

22.7

Mats Zuccarello

NYR

21

10

11

21

25

4.5M

4.67

 

Now, let’s rearrange the list in regard to their value, highest value at the top obviously.  Remember, we are giving their value based on how many points they produce coed to the millions they make.  Here’s how the names rank now.

 

Name

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

SH%

Cap Hit

Value

Nathan MacKinnon

COL

21

9

12

21

12

0.925M

22.7

Jamie Benn

DAL

22

16

16

32

25.8

5.25M

6.09

Tyler Seguin

DAL

22

12

19

31

13.6

5.75M

5.31

Mats Zuccarello

NYR

21

10

11

21

25

4.5M

4.67

Taylor Hall

EDM

21

9

15

24

9.9

6.0M

4

Blake Wheeler

ARI

22

8

14

22

12.9

5.6M

3.93

Daniel Sedin

VAN

22

10

13

23

11.2

7.0M

3.29

Patrick Kane

CHI

21

13

19

32

16.9

10.5M

3.04

David Krejci

BOS

20

8

14

22

16.3

7.25M

3.03

Vladimir Tarasenko

STL

21

13

9

22

16.3

7.5M

2.93

 

Considering MacKinnon is still playing under his entry-level contract, there’s no surprise that his value is so high considering the offense he’s producing. It’s nice to see him bounce back after his little sophomore slump last year. He’s pretty much carrying that Avalanche team on his back this season.This is the last year for Nate’s cheap cap hit for the Avalanche so expect him to be rewarded for his hard work this year.

Jamie Benn is in the third year of his five-year contract. He’s proving that his Art Ross Trophy win last year was no fluke and looks to be on his way to defending that Trophy this year. His shooting percentage is sky high (the highest in the top 10 by a large amount) but I don’t think he regresses much in regards to scoring when it comes back down. His career average shooting percentage is around 13.2%, pretty much what he ended up with last year (13.8% to be exact) so even once that settles, he’s shown he can still produce at that lower percentage.

Tyler Seguin, the other half of that Dallas Dynamic Duo, is pretty much on par with what we have come to expect from him. His current shooting percentage is a tad above his career average (11.9% for his career to date) so I don’t expect much to change for him going forward. He is in the second year of his six-year contract and is proving to be one of, if not the best NHL contract out there today. John Tavares is another who comes to mind in regards to best contracts out there but right now I’d give the honour to Seguin.

It’s nice to see Taylor Hall’s name back among the league leaders in scoring. What’s interesting about Hall is he is one of the only guys on this list who is actually shooting below his average career shooting percentage (Hall’s career shooting percentage is 11.0%) so there’s a chance we could still see more from Hall once he increases that percentage. Many thought the addition of Connor McDavid would boost Hall back from a disappointing season last year but he’s actually been doing this playing with others. His four points for every million dollar paid puts him right in the middle of this pack and deservedly so. 

One name on that list that surprises many is David Krejci but I don’t know why people are so surprised. Maybe it’s because most are quick to say it’s because of his shooting percentage being too high, but realistically it’s not too far off his career average of 11.8%. There are others on this list that has a steeper fall to reality but we don’t hear the same comments about their high percentage. Others have commented that it’s just a matter of time before he gets hurt again and falls off this list. Truth is, up until last year, he only really missed six games in his previous five seasons. David Krejci has been a steady, consistent, quality point producer for the Bruins over the years. Looking back over the past five seasons, three of those were 60+ point seasons and the other two seasons were a lockout year and his injury-plagued year last year. He even has one 70+ point season in his career.  It’s hard to say where David Krejci ends up in regards to the overall scoring race when it’s all said and done, but people shouldn’t be so quick to write him off as one of the league’s top point producers. He’s already been one for years.

Some others worth mentioning as well:

Artemi Panarin:  The rookie winger from the Chicago Blackhawks is making 0.813M this year and next. So far this year he is technically in the the top 10 scorers with 21 points (7G, 14A). His value on our chart would have put him right at the top with a value of 25.8 points per million. He has obviously benefitted from playing with Patrick Kane. If he can keep up this pace, he will be one of the biggest values in the league.

Johnny Gaudreau:  The diminutive winger from the Calgary Flames is off to another sizzling start. His 20 points in 22 games (5G, 15A) have him right near the top 10 and considering he is making 0.925M, his value lands at 23.7 points per million. He is in the last year of his entry-level contract and is showing he isn’t taking anything for granted. He’s obviously one of the best bang for the buck players in the league.

Evgeny Kuznetsov:  Kuznetsov is in the first year of his bridge contract that sees him earning a cap hit of $3M for this year and next. He flew out of the gate and currently has 21 points (7G, 14A) in 20 games. This type of production gives him a value of 7 points per million dollars earned. Centering one of the greatest goal scorers of all time certainly didn’t hurt his numbers early on. Now that he has lost that spot to Nicklas Backstrom, it will be interseting to see if Kuznetsov can keep up this pace.

One last guy to be mentioned is Tyler Toffoli. In 21 games, he has 19 points (11G, 8A) and has been one of the hotter players in recent weeks. Like Kuznetsov, he is in the first year of his two-year bridge contract that sees him earning an annual cap hit of $3.25M.  This type of production has him earning a value of 5.85 points per million dollars.

All three of the additional names I just mentioned are flirting with the NHL top-10 scoring race. 

It will be interesting to see how the season rolls and which of the names listed above stick on the list and who drops off.  There are perennial names who aren’t even on the list yet; players like John Tavares, Claude Giroux, Steven Stamkos, Evgeny Malkin and of course, Sidney Crosby to name a few who will start to find their way into the top 10 scoring race I am sure.  Their value will all be dependant on how strong they finish in the scoring race.

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Thanks for taking the time to give this a read.  Feel free to leave a comment and you can also follow me on twitter @chrispudsey