Brayden Schenn: $6.5 million, 8 years
In terms of offensive production up until his UFA season, Brayden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues is one of the closest players to Horvat. Horvat currently sits at 170 goals and 366 points, while Schenn had achieved 179 goals and 430 points when he was at Horvat’s stage in his career. Schenn had played 86 more games at that point, but his 65.3% points percentage compares nicely to Horvat’s 63.9%.
Today’s market is still softer than it was when Schenn signed in 2019, but if Horvat waits until the off-season, the market will probably be similar to how it was when the Blues extended Schenn.
The main difference between Horvat and Schenn is that Schenn signed his extension just months after winning the Stanley Cup. He had proven that he could win with that team — something that Horvat is still working on.
At any rate, the two players are comparable in many ways, and $52 million over eight years is not unreasonable for Horvat.
Anders Lee: $7 million, 7 years
Anders Lee of the New York Islanders didn’t play a full season in the NHL until he was 24 years old, so his pre-UFA numbers are a touch lower than those of comparable players. His point percentages, however, are right on par with the other forwards making similar money. He only played 425 games before signing his big ticket, but managed points in 60.7% of those games.
When he signed the contract, he was in a similar position to the one that Horvat is in now: the captain of a promising team, itching for playoff success. Although they couldn’t get past the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Islanders made the Conference Final in each of the next two years following Lee’s signing.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: $5.125 million, 8 years
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has matched Horvat in games played, goals, assists and points every season since 2016-17 (give or take a few each year). If there’s a comparable player to Horvat, it’s RNH.
It’s widely believed that Nugent-Hopkins took a discount to stay with the Edmonton Oilers, the team that drafted him first overall. If Horvat has the desire to do something similar, he could help his team immensely.
While it comes with a low cap hit, Nugent-Hopkins’ contract comes with a no-movement clause and is essentially buyout-proof. If Horvat ends up taking a team-friendly deal, he could always structure his contract in a similar way, guaranteeing that he gets all the money he signed for.
It’s unlikely that Horvat will sign as low as Nugent-Hopkins did, especially with the salary cap going back up. Most people expect him to get a raise from the $5.5 million that he currently makes, but it is likely that Canucks management uses this contract as justification to pay Horvat less.