The Lowest Paid NHL Players This Season

The lowest paid NHL players in the NHL make $750,000 as of the 2022-23 season, and this will rise to $775,000 in 2023-24. Rookie players, players who are just good enough to play in the league, and veterans looking to stick around often make the minimum.

Players in the NHL are some of the best athletes on the planet. As a result, some of them are paid millions of dollars every year to play and help their teams win. But not everyone who steps foot onto the ice becomes a multimillionaire.

While every pro player is paid very well compared to other jobs, the minimum NHL salary might not be as much as you’d think. Keep reading to learn more about the lowest paid NHL players, and how much they actually earn.

Key Takeaways

  • As of the 2022-23 NHL season, the lowest amount an NHL player can make is $750,000 a year. This number will rise to $775,000 in the 2023-24 season.
  • The players that make this amount are generally players on a rookie deal, journeyman players who are just good enough to play in the league, and veterans looking to stick around for a few more years.
  • Veteran players will often take the minimum salary in hopes of attracting a high-quality team. They are willing to take much less money for a chance at winning a Stanley Cup, as many of these players have already cashed in on large contracts in the past.

What is the Lowest Salary in the NHL?

The lowest salary in the NHL is currently $750,000 as of the 2022-23 season. This amount will go up to $775,000 during the 2023-24 NHL season, and will likely continue to rise going forward.

While this is a very high salary for a regular person, it pales in comparison to the millions that some people make in the NHL. In fact, many players will make upwards of $10 million each season.

Which Players Generally Make the Minimum Salary?

So now that you know what the lowest possible salary is in the NHL, who makes it? Generally, most players who earn the minimum will be players on their rookie contracts. When players are coming into the league, they sign an entry-level contract.

This contract is for between $750,000 and $925,000 per year in salary, and will be for three years if the player is between 18 and 21 years old, two years if they are 22-23, and one year if they are 24 or older. 

Once these rookies play out this contract, they have the potential to sign a larger contract. While some may get it, others may only sign for the minimum again or may find themselves out of the league altogether.

In addition to rookie players, fringe players who are on the cusp of being good enough to be in the league also may get paid the minimum. Someone who may only play a few games a season and doesn’t offer much to teams may not get anything more than the minimum.

Also, some veterans and journeyman players will also take the minimum salary. Some former stars that are currently paid the minimum include Zach Parise, Alex Edler, and Eric Stall. While it makes sense for rookies to be making near the league minimum, why do veterans take so little?

Some do it to land in a favorable position to win a Stanley Cup, while others may do it to help their new team have more money to spend to build a better team. Many of these players have made millions on deals earlier in their careers, so money isn’t their biggest motivating factor.


Here are a few common questions about salaries in the NHL, along with their answers.

Who are the highest paid players in the NHL?

The highest-paid players in the NHL include Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnion, Auston Matthews, and Artemi Panarin. These players are often paid a relatively small base salary, but then given a large signing bonus to make up for it and reward them for their skills.

What is the current salary cap in the NHL?

Currently, the NHL salary cap is $82.5 million, and it will rise to $83.5 million in 2023-24. This means that each team can spend up to that amount on player salaries. There is also a cap floor of $61 million that each team must reach.

Final Thoughts

While many NHL players make millions of dollars every year, there are also plenty of rookies, players on the cusp of being good enough for the league, and seasoned veterans who make the $750,000 minimum.

I hope this article helped you learn more not only about the minimum NHL salary, but also the players that generally make it.

Do you think the minimum salary should be higher or lower than it currently is? Or are you okay with where it’s at? Let me know in a comment below.

About Kale
Being from Canada, hockey is essentially a way of life. I instantly fell in love with the game since I was being put on skates. From playing as a child (and the occasional street hockey game with friends today) to being a fan for over 20 years, I’m here to share my knowledge and passion for hockey. Email:

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