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RNH is RICH: Oilers sign Nugent-Hopkins to $42 million extension

Sep 19, 2013, 4:29 PM EDT

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers are all-in on their young stars.

On Thursday, the club announced it had agreed to a seven-year, $42 million extension for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the club’s first-round (and first overall) pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Nugent-Hopkins, 20, will carry an average annual cap hit of $6 million with the new deal, an identical figure to the ones held by Jordan Eberle (signed through 2019) and Taylor Hall (signed through 2020).

The RNH extension kicks in next season t and runs through 2020-21 campaign but, as Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports, the deal comes without no-trade/movement clauses (Eberle and Hall don’t have them either).

It’s a bold move from Edmonton, banking on Nugent-Hopkins’ undeniable skill and his ability to overcome health issues.

Both of his first two seasons in the NHL have been cut short due to shoulder issues. His rookie campaign was limited to just 62 games after undergoing a season-ending shoulder procedure, yet he still managed to put up 52 points and finish as one of the three nominees for the Calder Trophy.

Last season, he was held to just 40 games — undergoing shoulder surgery in April — and saw his production dip (24 points, a 0.60 points-per-game average).

But there is reason for optimism. RHN recently said he’s “put on a few pounds” and is currently tipping the scales at between 180 and 185 pounds, which could theoretically help in being able to survive the physical rigors of a full NHL season.

In addition, he’s been working on his shot this offseason, with good results.

“My shot feels great,” he said. “It feels probably a little bit better than last year even.”

Of course, the Oilers are going to have to wait a while to see that shot in action. Nugent-Hopkins isn’t expected to make his 2013-14 debut until November.

Related: They said Nugent-Hopkins would get hurt — and so far, they’ve sort of been right

  1. hallsy86 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Suck on that Stepan.

  2. hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    At least all the money is going to a proven player….

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      You are joking, this is one of the worst contracts I’ve seen on a while

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        Please tell me you aren’t this stupid.

    • jpelle82 - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      yeah that was sarcasm im sure

  3. withseidelinn - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    There is absolutely no way he is at 185lbs.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Brutal decision, at least make him show that he can stay healthy or produce at the level warranting this. What do they think Schultz will ask for next year? How about Yakupov?

  5. esracerx46 - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    6 mil a year for 102 NHL games? yikes. 24 points in 40 games last year….one hell of a gamble

  6. ray2013 - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Local commentators were saying $5 – 5.5 m per season. Looks like the Oilers bid themselves up again.

  7. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Wow, smart locking up the top kids long-term. The money that the Oilers have handed them… no so much. RNH, as clearly talented as he is, just seems like one of those players who’s only going to give you an average of about 60games per season. He’s so thin and frail that it’s almost inevitable he’s going to miss significant time each year. For the Oilers, a bridge deal would’ve made a lot more sense. Now they’re locked in long-term, with big money, to a kid with glass bones. Very risky signing (and he hasn’t earned $6 annually).

    • odj810 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      These could be good deals later on as the cap goes up. However the first few years probably not so much

  8. bauxjangles - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    It’s a lot of money and hopefully he proves to be worth it but more importantly, good for the oilers for setting in place the nucleus for a very good team in the near future

  9. jb8588 - Sep 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    RNH has definite skill without a doubt, but has shown a knack already for being injured. Gambles like this are a perfect example of why GM’s get themselves constantly into a mess when it comes to these long-term contracts.

  10. capsfan19 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Ha! Itd be exciting to see this pay off for em but… Whoops! My pessimism is showing!

  11. shanesander - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    i do agree it’s a little much for nuge right now. it’s not about the skill it’s about being healthy. say he sticks to his usual 60-70 games the Oilers would have (salaries taken into consideration in how the Oilers are trending in how their paying their players)

    Dubnyk (if resigned $3.5m – $4.5m)

    Schultz (RFA 2014 – $5.0m – $6.0m)

    Hall ($6.0m)
    Eberle ($6.0m)
    RNH ($6.0m)
    Yakupov (RFA 2015 $6.0m resigned)
    Gagner ($4.8m)
    Perron ($3.8m)
    Gordon ($3.0m)

    still need to factor in..

    D: Smid, Petry, Ference, Klefbom & Nurse

    looks like we’re trending towards a cap out and trade…

  12. vanindeed - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    This guy needed a bridge contract. Lots of talent but you can’t fork over cash on potential

    • TippySaysNo - Sep 20, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      He should have got a contract comparable to Kadri. This will haunt the Oilers from a cap perspective.

  13. arlingtonrob - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Not bad for a kid that doesn’t shave yet…

  14. ethanmacleod1685 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    One of the worst contracts I’ve seen in the past decade. He has totally absolutely not earned or deserved 6m a year. Edmonton = worst management in the league

    • esracerx46 - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      And this is a brand new GM. Well, kind of. Edmonton recycles the same guys over and over. They’re pretty much interchangeable at this point. I really dont care how Edmonton manages their cap, it just sucks for my because of the precedent it sets. The other great thing about a crazy contract like this is their was absolutely zero need to do so at this time. The kid had a valid contract and their was no way he could perform his way into a higher echelon than that 6 mil. Congrats Edmonton, I like your coach but youre still the laughing stock.

  15. jaybaileys - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    oyyyyy what would they pay Malkin? This is a bad idea, has this guy done anything?

  16. ejbigg - Sep 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    He’s getting paid 6 mil based on potential and draft spot alone. Which makes zero sense, that’s what an entry level deal is for, not the second contract.

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