Avalanche sign MacKinnon to 8-year extension with reported $12.6M AAV

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Nathan MacKinnon is staying in Colorado for the long haul.

The Avalanche inked the superstar center to an eight-year contract extension Tuesday.

MacKinnon's new deal carries an average annual value of $12.6 million, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. Colorado will pay approximately 85% of the agreement ($85.34 million of $100.8 million) in signing bonuses, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The pact will make MacKinnon the highest-paid NHL player when it begins in 2023-24. Edmonton Oilers dynamo Connor McDavid currently holds that distinction with a contract carrying a $12.5-million AAV. McDavid signed his eight-year deal in 2017.

MacKinnon's cap hit will double next season; he's entering the final year of his current contract at a $6.3-million AAV. He said last week he wanted to get an extension done before the start of the 2022-23 season.

The 27-year-old has long been arguably the most underpaid player in the league and one of the best players of his era. He helped the Avalanche win their first Stanley Cup championship since 2001 this past June, tying for the postseason lead with 13 goals while adding 11 assists in 20 playoff games.

MacKinnon has been a Hart Trophy finalist in three of the last five campaigns. He narrowly lost the honor to Taylor Hall in 2018, finishing only 70 votes behind Hall out of over 4,000. The Nova Scotia-born pivot also lost to Oilers center Leon Draisaitl by 147 votes in 2020.

No player from the 2013 draft has more goals, assists, or points than MacKinnon since entering the league. He ranks third behind McDavid and Draisaitl in total points since 2017-18, with 442 in 338 contests during that span.

MacKinnon's 32 goals and 88 points over 65 regular-season games last year both ranked second on the club behind Mikko Rantanen, who tallied 36 markers and 92 points in 75 contests.

The Avalanche star has totaled 242 goals and 406 assists across 638 regular-season games, adding 41 goals and 52 assists in 70 playoff contests. He's played all nine of his NHL seasons with Colorado after the team drafted him first overall.

Avalanche sign MacKinnon to 8-year extension with reported $12.6M AAV
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