The 20-year-old center is coming off a season, which saw him score 21 goals and 31 assists in 72 games. His 52 points was good for third in team scoring.
The Colorado Avalance have locked up a key piece of their organization signing Nathan MacKinnon to a seven-year, $44.1 million deal with a annual average value of $6.3 million.
MacKinnon saw his three-year, $11.325 million entry-level contract expire on July 1 and was a restricted free agent.
The new deal makes MacKinnon the highest paid member of the Avs.
The 20-year-old center is coming off a season, which saw him score 21 goals and 31 assists in 72 games. His 52 points was third in team scoring.
“Signing Nathan to a long-term contract was a priority this offseason,” said Avs’ GM Joe Sakic. “He is going to be a key part of our team for many years to come and it was important to secure his rights moving forward.”
MacKinnon’s $6.3 million annual average value comes in a tad higher than fellow restricted free agent center Mark Scheifele who signed a new deal with Winnipeg on Friday.
MacKinnon (7 yrs @ $6.3M) comparables:
Scheifele 8 @ 6.125M
RNH, Hall 7 @ 6M
Barkov 6 @ 5.9M
Forsberg 6 @ 6M
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) July 8, 2016
The only restricted free agent to sign for a bigger cap hit than MacKinnon this summer is Florida’s Aaron Ekblad who signed an eight-year deal with a $7.5 million annual average value.
Originally the first overall pick at the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie following the 2013-14 season.
The Nova Scotia native has scored 59 goals and 153 points in 218 career games over three seasons.
Internationally, MacKinnon will represent Team North America at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey in September.