The 8 Best Value Players in the NHL

Peter MillsContributor IIIMarch 9, 2012

The 8 Best Value Players in the NHL

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    It's a tough job for a team to manage salaries. Contracts can range from great value all the way down to Scott Gomez, and sometimes it's hard to predict what sort of value a team is going to get from a signing.

    Point production is key for offensive players, but it's also important to get a good value for the production. Steven Stamkos leads the league in both goals and points, but his $8 million salary demands those kind of numbers.

    Likewise, Evgeni Malkin's production has been blistering this year, but the cost still comes out to more than $111,000 per point.

    The following players are the best possible scenario for owners—low salary and high production. Simply put, they yield the greatest returns.

    Note: All numbers used in this article were obtained from Capgeek, Hockeybuzz's Cap Central, Hockey-Reference and Averages are based on player salary.

Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

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    Jamie Benn is in the third year of his rookie contract. But as a fifth-round pick, his rookie contract is worth a lot less than some of the others on this list.

    This season, he is making $670,000—not a bad price-tag for a guy with 54 points. It comes out to $12,407 per point.

    One would have to think he'll be significantly more expensive for whatever team secures his talents next season.

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

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    Erik Karlsson has been absolutely ridiculous this year.

    In his third season, the young, Swedish defenseman has exploded for 67 points in 68 games. He's dominated the defensive scoring race—he has 23 more points than second-place Brian Campbell.

    Still in his entry-level contract, Karlsson is making just $875,000 this year. That comes out to $13,059 per point. That's definitely a price worth paying.

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers

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    Starting out the season on a line with two first-overall draft picks, Jordan Eberle was apparently not intimidated.

    Not to take away from Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who've both had impressive seasons in their own rights, but it's Jordan Eberle who's been the dominating offensive force in Edmonton.

    Eberle has 63 points in 63 games this year. Like Karlsson, he's still in his rookie contract, making $875,000 both this season and next.

    Producing at just $13,888 per point, he's already a great value. It's scary to think what he could do next year for the same salary.

John Tavares, New York Islanders

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    A former first-overall pick, expectations have always been high for John Tavares. So far, he hasn't disappointed.

    The Islanders' points leader has 63 points in 67 games, and while he's set for a big raise to $4 million next season, he currently makes just $900,000, giving him a value of $14,285 per point.

    It's important to note, though, that Tavares' contract includes large point bonuses, resulting in a cap hit over $3 million that seriously decreases his value.

David Desharnais, Montreal Canadiens

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    David Desharnais went undrafted, and eventually signed a contract to play with the Habs. Let's just say that signing paid off.

    This season, after receiving a raise to $750,000, Desharnais has repaid the club's faith with 52 points, or $14,423 per point.

    On a team with some less-than-ideal contracts, Desharnais brings a great value.

Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins

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    Tyler Seguin has exploded as one of the most dangerous offensive threats on the Bruins.

    The 2010 draft's second-overall pick has put up 55 points for the B's while still earning his rookie-contract $900,000, coming out to $16,363 per point.

    Like Tavares, contract bonuses make Seguin's cap-hit much larger than his salary.

P.A. Parenteau, New York Islanders

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    On a team full of young talent, P.A. Parenteau has been possibly the most pleasant surprise.

    The 28-year-old is just in his second full season—he played 27 games over two seasons before that—but he's surged for 59 points this season.

    Parenteau's only ever been given one-year contracts, and his current one is worth $1.25 million. The Islanders might be upset they didn't lock him down to a long-term salary, as he currently makes only $21,186 per point.

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

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    Claude Giroux is easily one of the biggest values in the league. Though he's paid much more per point, what separates Giroux from the majority of this list is that he's already past his entry-level contract, and still a great value.

    This season, he makes just $2.75 million. That's not bad for the leading scorer on the highest-scoring team in the league.

    Giroux is currently third in the league in points, with 79 in his 62 games thus far. That comes out to just $34,810 a point—a high number, but a number any team would gladly pay to its premium scorer.