Avalanche make Nathan MacKinnon highest-paid player in NHL

The Colorado Avalanche have signed forward Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year, $100.8 million extension. (Getty Images)
The Colorado Avalanche have signed forward Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year, $100.8 million extension. (Getty Images)

Nathan MacKinnon finally got his Stanley Cup ring, and now he has a huge new contract to celebrate.

The Colorado Avalanche announced they have signed MacKinnon to an eight-year, $100.8-million extension, making him (for now, at least) the highest-paid player in the NHL.

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MacKinnon eclipses Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid — who signed an eight-year, $100 million ($12.5 million AAV) contract in 2017 — as the league's highest earner.

The 27-year-old is coming off a 32-goal, 88-point campaign that culminated in a long-awaited Stanley Cup victory for Colorado.

"Nathan is obviously one of the premier players in the NHL so a long-term extension was something we wanted to get done before the season started," Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland told NHL.com on Tuesday.

"He has that rare combination of speed and power with a high compete level that makes him a generational player. We are thrilled he will continue to be a member of this team and this community for many years to come."

In 638 games over nine seasons with the Avalanche, MacKinnon has scored 242 goals and registered 406 assists for 648 points. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native is a six-time All-Star and won the Calder Trophy in 2014, awarded to the league's top rookie.

MacKinnon was selected by Colorado with the first overall pick of the 2013 draft after leading the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL to a Memorial Cup championship. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 2, 2013, becoming the youngest skater to ever dress for a regular season game for the Avalanche.

On the international stage, MacKinnon has represented Canada at the World Championships on three occasions (2014, 2015, 2017) and at the 2013 world juniors. He also played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 and will be a likely top-line player for Canada at the next World Cup in 2024.

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