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Sunday, May 26, 2024

The 25 Highest-Paid NHL Defensemen

  • Penguins enforcer Erik Karlsson is the highest-paid NHL defensemen.
  • In 2024, no defensemen earns over $12 million in salary.
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to forwards, compensation among NHL defensemen is very balanced with less than $4 million separating the first and 25th highest-paid defensemen. In 2024, no defensemen makes more than $12 million in annual salary.

Penguins enforcer Erik Karlsson is the highest-paid defensemen making $11.5 million annually. Karlsson signed an eight-year, $92 million contract with the Sharks in 2019 before being traded to the Penguins in August of 2023.

Sharing the second spot are Rasmus Dahlin and Drew Doughty with both making $11 million yearly. In the fourth position is Blue Jackets stopper Zachary Werenski at $9.58 million. Werenski signed a six-year, $57.5 million contract extension in 2021.

Charles Mcavoy, Seth Jones, and Adam Fox round out the top five with each making $9.5 million annually. Fox is set to become a free agent in 2029 while Mcavoy and Jones will be free agents in 2030.

The Highest-Paid Defensemen

Here is the full list of the 25 highest-paid NHL defensemen by average salary. The list was compiled using data from Spotrac.

  • Updated: April 24, 2024
  • Will be updated again: July 1, 2024
RankPlayerTeamCompensation
1Erik KarlssonPittsburgh Penguins$11.5 million
T-2Rasmus DahlinBuffalo Sabres$11 million
T-2Drew DoughtyLos Angeles Kings$11 million
4Zachary WerenskiColumbus Blue Jackets$9.58 million
T-5Charles McavoyBoston Bruins$9.5 million
T-5Seth JonesChicago Blackhawks$9.5 million
T-5Adam FoxNew York Rangers$9.5 million
8Darnell NurseEdmonton Oilers$9.25 million
9Roman JosiNashville Predators$9.06 million
T-10Cale MakarColorado Avalanche$9 million
T-10Dougie HamiltonNew Jersey Devils$9 million
12Alex PietrangeloVegas Golden Knights$8.8 million
13Mikhail SergachevTampa Bay Lightning$8.5 million
14Miro HeiskanenDallas Stars$8.45 million
15Owen PowerBuffalo Sabres$8.35 million
T-16Brent BurnsCarolina Hurricanes$8 million
T-16Jacob TroubaNew York Rangers$8 million
T-16Jake SandersonOttawa Senators$8 million
T-16Thomas ChabotOttawa Senators$8 million
T-16John CarlsonWashington Capitals$8 million
21Victor HedmanTampa Bay Lightning$7.88 million
22 Shea WeberArizona Coyotes$7.86 million
23Quinn HughesVancouver Canucks$7.85 million
24Dmitry OrlovCarolina Hurricanes$7.75 million
25Jared SpurgeonMinnesota Wild$7.58 million
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