The NHL clubs have been spending a lot of money to bring in the top prospects in their own division.
The most recent example came with the signing of Connor McDavid to a four-year contract extension in 2016.
But as the teams’ top prospects continue to progress, they’ve been spending even more.
This season, the top-three prospects in each division have all signed deals with the teams.
The Edmonton Oilers, for example, signed Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Seguin.
The Winnipeg Jets signed Jordan Eberle and Jakob Silfverberg.
As a result, the next highest-paid NHL player on the market, Evander Kane, has a contract with the Winnipeg Jets through 2019-20.
The Edmonton deal is worth $7.7 million per season, which puts it ahead of players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Max Domi.
The Jets, on the other hand, are on the cusp of an NHL-record $22.5 million salary cap.
That’s the sort of money the NHL is looking for, according to general manager Jim Benning, so they can compete with other teams to bring those top prospects to the NHL.
“We’ve got to be able to compete, and we’ve got guys coming in that are the future of this league,” Benning said.
“We’re not going to do it for the money, we’re going to compete to win.
And that’s what we’re trying to do.
We want to be competitive, and I think we’re in a position to do that.”
The $6.3 million per year Kane’s contract is the highest per-season salary on the team.
The $3.1 million per-year deal for Drouin is also among the highest, coming in ahead of Jussi Jokinen and Semyon Varlamov.
But it’s not all good news for the Jets.
Benning and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff are also in the midst of a massive rebuild.
Benning said the Jets will be making significant moves to upgrade their depth, including signing Ryan Miller and Travis Dermott.
On the flip side, the Jets are also looking to add some scoring depth.
In addition to adding Droubin and Seguin, the team also signed Nikolaj Ehlers and Kieran Formenton, a couple of NHL rookies.
The team has also added Michael Hutchinson, who played last season with the St. Louis Blues and is in the final year of his contract.
Despite the changes, the NHL’s best teams will still be spending the most on players this year.
So while the players are being signed, the teams are also making moves to improve their roster.
For example, the Buffalo Sabres have acquired J.T. Compher, a left-handed defenseman from the Colorado Avalanche.
The Sabres also acquired Tyson Barrie and Matt Dumba.
With that, the Sabres are on track to have the best record in the NHL this season, and they are looking to improve on last season’s success.
While the Sabres’ payroll will be down a bit this season as the team is finishing off the 2017-18 season, they are on pace to exceed the $1 billion mark this season.
One thing that will help the Sabres this season is the fact that they have a healthy Jets Buster Skjei.
Skjei, who is expected to be a top-pairing defenseman next season, will have an extra year of arbitration left to negotiate his contract, so he will be able play on a cheaper contract next season.
The Jets have a lot riding on this season to make the playoffs.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the season plays out for the organization next year.
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