With just a few days left until the start of the regular season, Johnny Gaudreau has finally ended his stand-off with the Calgary Flames.
It was confirmed on Monday afternoon that Gaudreau, who was one of a small handful of remaining unsigned RFA’s around the NHL, has inked a six year extension with Calgary. Per Elliotte Friedman, the deal will pay out $6.75 million per year for each of the next six years.
Once this deal is up, Gaudreau will become an unrestricted free agent.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by Calgary, the 23-year-old Gaudreau played NCAA hockey for Boston College before opting to go pro at the start of the 2014-15 regular season.
Since going pro, the undersized – but extremely talented – left winger has produced at nearly a point per game pace. He recorded 78 points in 79 regular season games last year, and currently sits on 143 points in 160 career NHL games. With those numbers, he is tenth in scoring among his draft class – and only because he is the only top ten scored with fewer than 200 games played.
It’s a bit surprising that Gaudreau was willing to finally sign for less than $7 million per season, but the structure of his deal may explain why he ultimately caved. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the winger will pull in a $3 million signing bonus this year, then another $3.5 million signing bonus in the year the NHL could experience another lockout – guaranteeing he’ll get a nice chunk of money ahead of any potential problems.