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Insider Uses Matthews’ AAV to Predict Next McDavid, Draisaitl Contracts

One insider was asked how Auston Matthews’s new deal might impact Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid and he talked cap percentage.

During a conversation with Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli on a recent episode of Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer, Stauffer asked if a four or five-year deal, similar to the one Auston Matthews signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs would make sense for Connor McDavid and/or Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton. Seravalli responded that it could, but it depends on what McDavid and Draisaitl make a priority in their next negotiations.

Related: Insider Makes Bold Prediction on Leon Draisaitl’s Future with Oilers

Seravalli went back and touched on the Matthews deal and said that the center could have gotten more out of the Maple Leafs had his priority been to sign an eight-year deal. While he knows that some fans will ask how more than a record-setting annual average salary could have been improved, Seravalli explained that if the two sides had signed a long-term deal, Matthews’ AAV “would have needed to be significantly higher.”

Comparing Matthews' AAV to Next McDavid and Draisaitl Contracts
Comparing Matthews’ AAV to Next McDavid and Draisaitl Contracts

Seravalli predicted that an eight-year deal would have fallen somewhere between the $15 and $16 million per season range. “The focus from Auston Matthews, and they were really clear about this from the beginning of talks with the Leafs was, they want a chance to win. People will say, if he got a record-setting AAV, how does he give the Leafs a chance to win? And the answer is, that when this deal kicks in, with the salary cap increasing, he really isn’t getting much of a raise from what he’s currently making by virtue of the percentage of the cap.” Seravalli argued that Matthews isn’t really impacting the Leafs and their chance to win based on the ability to add players around Matthews.

What Does This Mean for McDavid and Draisaitl?

So, when it comes to McDavid and Draisaitl, does the same argument apply? If both sign four or five-year deals and make the same percentage of the cap when they re-sign with the team, are they hurting the Oilers if each is making significantly more per season? In Draisaitl’s case, he only makes around 10% of the team’s cap. If he jumps to around 15%, where McDavid and Matthews are, it will be a sizeable jump.

Going into this season, McDavid ($12.5 million per season) sits at 14.9% of the cap. With an AAV of $8.5 million, Draisaitl is a steal at just under 10.2% of the cap. Matthews is currently at 13.9% and next season, when his cap hit jumps to $13.25 million — if we assume a salary cap ceiling of around $87 million –he’ll be at 15.2%. Should it jump to $90 million when Draisaitl signs again, he could go from an $8.5 million per season player to one making around $13.75 million.

It would be a fair deal, but the Oilers are hoping he’s happy making the same thing as Matthews or that Leon and Connor get together and talk about how to structure their deals to build the best possible team around them they can.

As for McDavid’s own extension, in 2026, anything between $14 and $15 million would be right on par with the percentage of the cap that Matthews just took up.

Next: McDavid and Oilers Making Huge Statement Ahead of 2023-24 Season

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