Derek Leung / Getty Images
By: Ryan Kiray (@RyanK_THG)
The Edmonton Oilers recently announced the signing of former first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a seven-year, $42 million contract, leaving the Oilers in control of the young center’s fate for years to come. While the reaction to the contract has been mixed, in part due to the high risk the Oilers are taking in imparting such a large cash investment to a player who has not yet completed his entry level contract, the Oilers have set a brilliant precedent that will benefit their push toward the Cup as their young core matures.
Nugent-Hopkins will carry the same $6 million cap hit as forwards Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, the latter a former first overall draft pick himself. This core of forwards is locked up at that rate through the 2019-2020 season. With Nail Yakupov, the third top pick on the Oilers’ roster, eligible to sign a new deal after this season, it is a safe bet that the he will receive a similar number on his c...