New Jersey Devils have signed Adam Henrique to a six-year extension worth $24 million, according to the team's Twitter page.
— New Jersey Devils (@NHLDevils) August 26, 2013
Henrique had what some consider a disappointing sophomore season, recording 11 goals and just give assists in 42 games. However, the 23-year-old forward did deal with a lack of training camp during the lockout and was recovering from thumb surgery he underwent on Nov. 29.
His new contract averages $4 million over the next six years, but as USA Today's Mike Brehm points out, the deal is very backloaded.
Adam Henrique's six-year, $24 million contract breakdown: $2 million, $3 million, $4 million, $4.5 million, $5 million and $5.5 million
— Mike Brehm (@ByMikeBrehm) August 27, 2013
Despite his struggles last season, Henrique still had 67 points in 117 games and he made a name for himself during the 2012 postseason. Considering his proven ability to provide offense and how the cap will look over the next few years, this deal is a steal.
According to CBC's Elliotte Friedman, the NHL's salary cap could rise from $63.4 million this year to as much as $80 million over the next four seasons. This will also increase the cap floor because, as Matt Brigidi points out, the floor is altered by how the salary midway point changes.
In terms of this year, Henrique's $2 million will take up roughly three percent of the Devils total cap space. In 2018-19, when Henrique is scheduled to make $5.5 million, he will only be taking up six percent of the team's potential $80 million cap.
In other words, Henrique will take up little to no space over the next six years regardless of how he progresses as an NHL player.
His contract also compares well to other players with similar statistics. Henrique and Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter both have 67 points over the past two seasons, yet Carter is scheduled to make $6.5 million next season compared to Henrique's $2 million.
Yes, Carter has proven himself much more than Henrique and he has a Stanley Cup to show for it, but Henrique has already proven he can score goals and helped the Devils clinch two series in the playoffs before losing in the Final.
Henrique's "disappointing" 2013 campaign has raised some doubts about how well he will progress over the next few years, but fans should expect a rebound season from the star.
Henrique will go into 2013-14 with a full offseason of rest, a full training camp with his entire team and a returning head coach and no nagging thumb injury to hold him back. He is going to get an extreme increase in playing time with Ilya Kovalchuk no longer in New Jersey, and I believe he will benefit from this extra ice time.
According to CapGeek, the Devils now have $3.6 million in cap space heading into September. While there may be a few deals made before October, I believe the Devils have finalized their roster for the 2013-14 season.
In all, this is a good deal for both the Devils and Henrique.