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What could Andrei Svechnikov’s next contract look like?

The Carolina Hurricanes’ Russian star is geared for a solid payday from his first contract negotiations, but what will the term look like?

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five Photo by Jenna Miller/Getty Images

There are a few key contracts that the Carolina Hurricanes will have their hands full with in figuring out this offseason and one of the most important of those is for the Canes’ 2018 lottery pick, Andrei Svechnikov.

The 21-year old forward so far has a career stat line of 59 goals and 140 points in 205 regular season games with nine goals and 20 points in 26 playoff games.

It’s also important to keep in mind in terms of comparisons that Svechnikov has played only one complete season with his last two having been shortened seasons.

For that purpose, we can take a look at w,hich lists Svechnikov as having an adjusted statline of 72 goals and 174 points, calculating that total by taking his scoring pace from each season and multiplying it out for a full 82 game season.

Carolina has two paths forward with their Russian star: a long-term deal or a bridge deal.

For all intents and purposes, a bridge deal makes the most sense for Svechnikov’s camp. He had a bit of a down year this season and there just isn’t as much money to go around currently with the flat cap.

He’s a star player and betting on himself to put up big numbers in the next few seasons is a smart gamble.

If he does want to go the bridge route, the Canes will need to sign him to either a two or four year term. Under no circumstances should Carolna sign a three-year term because that would put the contract expiration at the same time as the end of Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei’s contracts.

Having to worry about re-signing your entire top line and two of your top four defensemen is just a recipe for disaster and the Hurricanes’ front office is smarter than that.

So what would a bridge deal look like?

Let’s take a look at some recent bridge deals for high-profile RFA forwards.

*Prior Stats: Goals-Assists-Points // (Playoffs) Goals-Assists-Points

**Stats are from before the player signed their current contract

Brock Boeser

  • Signing Age: 22
  • Prior Stats: 59-57-116
  • Contract: 3x$5.875

Boeser only played around two seasons before signing his bridge deal, but the American winger is consistently around the 30-goal mark each season.

Brayden Point (C)

  • Signing Age: 23
  • Prior Stats: 91-107-198 // 8-9-17
  • Contract: 3x$6.75

Go figure that Tampa Bay would manage to sign Point to a less than $7 million contract the year after he puts up 92 points. Centers are usually paid more money than wingers, but Point is on a great value contract and it can be argued that nobody should be demanding more money than he’s getting right now.

Patrik Laine

  • Signing Age: 21
  • Prior Stats: 110-74-184 // 8-8-16
  • Contract: 2x$6.75

Laine is one of the best pure goal scorers in the NHL and that fact played heavily into his short bridge contract as he bet on himself to raise his value.

However, he’s run into a bit of trouble as of late with not playing alongside a good playmaking center in Winnipeg and now is still in that same boat with Columbus.

Mathew Barzal (C)

  • Signing Age: 23
  • Prior Stats: 59-148-207 // 7-17-24
  • Contract: 3x$7

Barzal is the offensive engine on Long Island and Lou Lamoriello might have played some hardball with him on his first deal to keep his contract relatively contained, but the young phenom is going to be due for a monster contract.

Matthew Tkachuk

  • Signing Age: 21
  • Prior Stats: 71-103-174 // 2-1-3
  • Contract: 3x$7

Tkachuk before he signed his contract is probably the most comparable player to Svechnikov one-to-one at this point in his career, with a virtually identical point total with Svechnikov’s adjusted totals.

Also, both are power forward, left wingers that love to throw the body.

Oh yeah and both have had some dramatic goals. One having a through the legs, buzzer-beater OT winner and the other two lacrosse goals.

The other path for Svechnikov would be a long-term deal if he and the team do actually decide they want to hammer one out.

It isn’t the worst idea in the world to get your young star signed to a big-term deal because at this point he shouldn’t be breaking the bank. It could be one of the more cost effective moves for the club moving forward if the contract’s cost stays relatively similar to what a bridge deal value would be.

It isn’t the most likely path and the comparables really run the gamut, but surely Canes fans would love to secure Svech for a good while.

So let’s take a look at some recent high-value RFA forwards on long-term deals to see what one for Svechnikov could look like.

Travis Konecny

  • Signing Age: 22
  • Prior Stats: 59-65-124 // 1-0-1
  • Contract: 6x$5.5

Konecny plays a similar style to Svechnikov with both being a hard to play against, antagonizing winger and also each have the same exact career high totals. A solid comparison if the Canes and Svechnikov want to go a longer term route.

William Nylander

  • Signing Age: 22
  • Prior Stats: 48-87-135 // 2-6-8
  • Contract: 6x$6.962

Nylander played hardball against the Toronto Maple Leafs and ultimately won in the end after nearly deciding to sit out a full year. The highly skilled winger is now on a reasonable contract especially compared to the albatross contracts of the Leafs’ big three.

Kyle Connor

  • Signing Age: 22
  • Prior Stats: 67-61-128 // 6-9-15
  • Contract: 7x$7.142

Connor is an elite goal scorer and Winnipeg seems smart so far in locking him up with a 7x$7. Svechnikov is projected to be that same high-level scoring talent, and while he still has time to reach that level, he isn’t quite there yet. However, Svech’s playmaking abilities are developing rather nicely to supplement his value.

Mikko Rantanen

  • Signing Age: 22
  • Prior Stats: 80-129-209 // 6-12-18
  • Contract: 6x$9.25

Rantanen has been one of the NHL’s best players even while living in Nathan MacKinnon’s shadow. So in that regard, it’s kind of crazy that Rantanen is the highest paid player on the Avalanche. That’s not to say he isn’t worth the money, because by all means he deserves it, but it just shows how good Colorado’s front office has been with assembling their team.

Mitch Marner

  • Signing Age: 22
  • Prior Stats: 67-157-224 // 5-12-17
  • Contract: 6x$10.903

On the reverse side of team’s with savvy front offices comes the anchor that Mitch Marner put on his team with his massive contract. In Toronto’s defense, you can’t just let a player of Marner’s caliber sit out, but would he really have?

His holdout was well documented and the Leafs might still have been a bit scarred by Nylander’s prior holdout, but while Marner is a superstar level player, the fact is that this contract makes figuring out any other roster moves a Herculean task.

Is Svechnikov expected to sign a deal anywhere near Rantanen or Marner’s numbers? No, but it’s worth noting them anyway with how unpredictable the market has become.

Another important note is that there is always the chance of a potential offer sheet. It happened with Aho and it can happen with Svech too, but the Canes should match any offer that is thrown his way without a second thought.

With a down year from his elite second season, there’s room to discuss a potential — if any — drop in Svechnikov’s contract value, but it is all a waiting game to see how it will pan out at this point.

One last note is that Svechnikov doesn’t have arbitration rights so the Canes could decide to play a bit of hardball with him, but that is never something you want to end up doing and potentially isolate a player.

Evolving Hockey’s contract projections has Svechnikov signing a 4x$6.175 deal. That seems to be a very reasonable contract all around and one that falls into a similar vein as the other bridge deals listed.

Svechnikov can probably be expected to sign anywhere from $5.5 million at the best value to upwards of $7 million on a two or four year bridge deal.