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How Much Do ECHL Hockey Players Make?

By / 20 July 2023 07:03 AM

ECHL team Florida Everglades win the 2023 Kelly Cup
Source : facebook

The ECHL hockey players make an average of $600 to $1000 per week as of the 2022-23 season. Rookie cap was fixated at $600 per week.

East Coast Hockey League is a mid-level professional ice hockey league that is a tier below the American Hockey League (AHL).

Similar to the NHL and AHL, it also has a Professional Hockey Players' Association and a CBA, but the league is structured in very different ways from the AHL.

For players under contract, life is very different from other leagues. The league has a salary cap that runs weekly and has strict roster limits.

The 20 players on the roster were subjected to a salary cap of $14,610 per week for the first 30 days of the season and $14,100 for the balance. Similarly, the weekly salary floor is $10,750, meaning each team had to spend more than the allocated amount each week in roster compensation.

Since most ECHL teams are independent operations relying on ticket revenue to cover costs, the salary cap is perfectly justified for the amount most teams can afford to pay.

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How Much Do ECHL Hockey Players Make?

ECHL player salary for the 2022-2023 season was a minimum of $510 per week for rookie players and the other players were $555 weekly.

It means the maximum salary allowable for players with less than 25 regular-season professional games was subjected to the above amount.

ECHL average salary for players is estimated to be $18,000. Considering that a season lasts about thirty weeks, this is a significant difference compared to the wages of AHL players.

While the ECHL stars are just above the minimum wage in the US ($15,080 a year), they also receive additional compensation for housing, transportation, and other expenses. 

They earn per diem allowance accompanying their team while he is away from their home arena more than 25 miles for practice, regular season, or postseason. As of 2022-23, the players received a per diem allowance of $50 per day.

On March 15, 2020, a popular NHL broadcaster for SportsNet took to Twitter to explain the poor financial circumstances of the ECHL players.

However, the reality is that only a handful of the players make it to the NHL, and many end up retiring from the league after a few seasons and pursuing a different career path due to poor financial conditions.

Highest Paid Players

Some of the all-time highest-paid players in ECHL are: 

  • David Desharnais
  • Tomas Vokoun
  • Tim Thomas
  • Mark Streit
  • Jonathan Quick
  • Braden Holtby 
  • Rich Peverley
  • Micheal Ryder
  • Dan Girardi

Most players on this list got their starts in the league, while some were already under NHL or AHL contracts. 

Since all of the mentioned players are currently playing for the NHL side, it is no surprise that they were valuable assets during their times and were paid a hefty sum.

How Much Do Minor League Hockey Players Make?

The salary of the minor league hockey players varies depending on the league, whether they're from AHL, ECHL, SPHL, or FPHL. 

The higher-tier AHL players receive significantly large paychecks than their ECHL counterparts.

Hershey Bears were the 2023 Calder Cup Champions
Source : facebook

How much do AHL players make? The average player in the AHL makes approximately $1,027 per week.

Thus, the average AHL player's salary is estimated to be $53,414 per year, which is still significantly less compared to the amount their NHL affiliates make. 

The minimum salary in the AHL for players on an AHL Standard Player's Contract is US $52,725, according to the AHL-PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

In contrast, the minimum salary for the NHL players for the upcoming 2023-24 season is fixed at US $775,000 annually.

Additionally, players on loan to the AHL from lesser leagues shall receive a minimum compensation of US $41,625 if they're in a US team or Cdn $54,100 for a Canadian team.

Like the ECHL, the players in AHL also receive a per diem allowance when they're out for an away game. The amount for the 2023-24 season is $83 per day.

On the other hand, FPHL offers the lowest salary amongst the different minor leagues, with the players generally making only a couple of hundred dollars a week. But, the top players earn in the range of $400-700 per week.

Meanwhile, SPHL players also make a few hundred dollars as their salary, with few high-end/ veteran players making anywhere from $500-900 per week. These players make a bit more than players in the FPHL, but not substantially more.

Highest Paid NHL Players Right Now

1. Nathan MacKinnon 2. Connor McDavid and 3. Artemi Panarin are some of the highest paid hockey players right now.

Unsurprisingly, the NHL is the world's premier professional ice hockey league with their players often earning significantly higher wages and their minimum salaries are usually more significant than other leagues.

While the league has set multiple criteria to ensure financially fair play, it hasn't stopped the teams from handing out lucrative offers to attract newer players and keep the existing ones.

As the new NHL season kicks in soon, NHL teams will be more desperate to hand out new contracts as they gear up and build the squad for the upcoming season.

Here are the ten highest-paid NHL players for the 2023-24 season based on the AAV (Average Annual Value).

Player Name (Team)Annual Salary
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)$12.6 million
Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)$12.5 million
Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)$11.642 million
Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)$11.64 million
Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks)$11.5 million
David Pstrnak (Boston Bruins)$11.25 million
John Tavares (Toronto Maples)$11 million
Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)$11 million
Mitch Marner (Toronto Maples)$10.903 million
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)$10.5 million

Nathan MacKinnon

Nathan MacKinnon with Colorado Avalanche in 2021
Source : twitter

Nathan MacKinnon is currently the highest-paid hockey player in the world after signing a $100.8 million contract extension for eight years with Colorado Avalanche. 

Taken by Colorado Avalanche with the No.1 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon had a breakout season in 2017-18, finishing fifth in the league with 97 points in 74 games. 

Similarly, the 27-year-old center's 24 points in the 2021-22 season Playoffs helped the Avalanche win their third Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

He recently notched a career-best 111 points (42 goals, 69 assists) last season, proving to everyone why he deserves such a lucrative paycheck.

Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid with Oilers in 2020
Source : twitter

MacKinnon is closely followed by Connor McDavid, who makes $12.5 million annually. The Oilers locked up McDavid with an eight-year, $100 million deal after the 2016-17 season.

Regarded as the best player in the league right now, McDavid is the three-time back-to-back-to-back recipient of Art Ross, awarded to the player who leads the league points.

After winning the OHL and Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year honors in the 2014-15 season, he was selected by the Oilers as the No.1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft

Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin signed to the Rangers over their hometown rivals
Source : twitter

Russian Hockey Hall of Famer Artemi Panarin is the third-highest earner in the NHL, with an annual salary of $11.642 million. 

As someone who passed over in the NHL Draft, Panarin began his professional career in the Kontinental Hockey League in his native Russia, where he played for Vityaz Chekhov. 

In May 2015, he agreed to terms with the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent, where he thrived on the forward line alongside fellow Russian Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. That season, he won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

Following his departure from Columbus Blue Jackets after the 2018-19 season, the Bread Man committed to a seven-year, $81.5 million deal with the New York Rangers as a free agent. However, there were reports that their hometown rival, the Islanders, was prepared to pay him even more.

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