By the nature of their occupation, professional ice hockey players are among the highest paid athletes. It may seem surprising that they rank fourth on this list with $1.15 billion combined — an average of $5.3 million per player — but even more staggering is what separates them from the top three earners: endorsements. Endorsements are included in this list because that’s how most players generate income beyond their salaries. Not to say their salaries aren’t high, because they certainly are — but without endorsements, even the best hockey players would not be able to crack this list.

The NHL has only recently recovered from the lockout of 2004-2005 which cost the league an entire season. The league’s popularity (and pocket books) undoubtedly suffered, but it has since rebounded and is now the most popular of America’s four major sports leagues.

average nhl player salary

$2,450,607 that figure was actually pretty close to the number our research turned up. The average salary of $2.45 million is surprisingly low compared to the rest of the sports world — consider that over in Major League Baseball (MLB) players earn an average of $3.34 million , and it’s no wonder that hockey players rank just fourth on this list. Endorsements, however, make up for that gap and then some their total earnings add up to $1.15 billion. We should note that Gatorade’s recent deal with Sidney Crosby for endorsement, marketing and licensing rights will improve his earnings over the next 12 years to more than $10 million a year money he could not have dreamed of as an 18-year old rookie.

How much do NHL players make per game?

The average player takes home $255,338 for each 82-game regular season. That works out to $14,574 per game. Some of the league’s best bargains are its youngest stars who still carry an entry-level salary well below what they could command on the open market.

Average nhl player salary average nba player salary The NBA’s gargantuan TV deal helped push their players to the top of this list, but it’s still a bit surprising that hockey players rank second. The average NHLer makes $2.45 million a year — an incredible figure when you consider the league’s short season and relatively low ticket prices.

How has player salary changed over time in the NHL?

NHL player salaries have increased drastically during the past few decades. For example, in 1985-1986, the average player salary was $109,737 . In 2011-2012, that number had jumped up to around $2.4 million. And it’s not just superstars who are seeing the benefits of player salary growth — even players on entry-level contracts are seeing significant raises. For example, the league minimum in 1985-1986 for a rookie was $42,500 . In 2011-2012, it was $525,000.

What are some of the factors that contribute to how much money a player earns in the NHL?”

  1. League entry level contract – rookies usually make substantially less than other players. There is also a limit on the total amount of money your team can sign you to while you’re still playing on your ELC.
  2. Total NHL salary – this is the total amount of money that a player makes in one year from his NHL team.
  3. Player performance – the better a player performs, the more he will be paid. For example, if you win an MVP award or score 50 goals in a season, your “total NHL salary” and likely even your “league entry level contract” will be higher than it would have been otherwise.
  4. Position – players who hold more important positions (e.g., centers and defensemen) tend to make more money than players who hold less important positions.
  5. Career length and age – the longer a player is in the league and the older he gets, the more money he can make.