If you had athletic aspirations as a kid, chances are you dreamed of throwing touchdowns and shooting hoops. Ice hockey likely didn’t cross your mind. But once you find out how much players make per point — we’re talking as high as six figures — you’re going to kick yourself for not hightailing it to the ice rink after school. To give you an idea of just how much NHL players take home, we’ve used Sportingpedia’s data to compile a list of the top scorers and how much they made per point during the 2022-2023 regular season. A couple points of clarification for hockey novices: A) This is just another way to look at compensation and player value; teams aren’t actually paying them per point, and B) a "point" in the NHL can consist of a goal or an assist.
Erik Karlsson — Total Salary: $12 million
Although the Sharks had a tough season, missing the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, Karlsson continues to be one of the league’s highest earners and scorers. Is he worth a full $12 million? Maybe not.
Matthew Tkachuk — Total Salary: $9 million
In his first season as a Florida Panther, Tkachuk propelled his team to the playoffs, leading the charge against Presidents' Trophy winner Boston Bruins, and scoring 40 goals in the regular season. Some are even calling him this year’s best all-around player.
Nikita Kucherov — Total Salary: $9 million
When it comes to scoring points, Kucherov was in the top five this season, playing with a team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021. But this year, Kucherov’s skill wasn’t enough to carry the Lightning past the first round of the playoffs.
Connor McDavid — Total Salary: $12 million
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best player in the NHL costs a boatload of money. And if his performance is any indication — he handily scored the most points this season — McDavid is worth the extra cash.
Elias Pettersson — Total Salary: $7.8 million
Canucks forward Elias Petterson hit a career high this season, scoring 39 goals — the most of any player on his team. Given his age and year-by-year improvement, Pettersson is a player to watch.
Leon Draisaitl — Total Salary: $8 million
Draisaitl has been lauded as an offensive powerhouse in his own right, earning his spot as the second-highest scorer this season. But he really shines when he works together with McDavid, a duo their coach has called “magic.”
Nathan MacKinnon — Total Salary: $6.85 million
Last season, Avs superstar Nathan MacKinnon helped clinch the Stanley Cup, scoring the most goals of any skater in the playoffs. His performance has been equally impressive this year, though he and his team were eliminated in the playoffs by the Seattle Kraken.
Mikko Rantanen - Total Salary: $6 million
Although he’s likely to be overshadowed by MacKinnon, right winger Mikko Rantanen topped his team in goals, making him one of the Avs’ most valuable players.
David Pastrnak — Total Salary: $6.4 million
David Pastrnak recently signed the Bruins’ most expensive contract in history, an 8-year extension with an $11.25 million salary cap. While spending that much on one player is a huge risk, he’s shown his worth as a high-scoring right winger.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Total Salary: $5.25 million
Despite his age, the Nuge continues to kill it on the ice as one of the top three scorers on his team. With his experience and McDavid’s talent, the Oilers could win it all this season.
Jason Robertson — Total Salary: $4.5 million
While we’d hesitate to call him underpaid, Robertson is the only player on this list who made under $5 million this year. He definitely earned his keep this season, securing the Stars a spot in the playoffs.