Top 5 New York Rangers contracts heading into the 2022-23 season

The New York Rangers are in their window to compete for the Stanley Cup after a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Final last season.

Whether they can win a title or not will be dependent on a number of factors, but how long they stay in contention has a lot to do with the salary cap. That means having players under contract that give you the most bang for the buck.

Since that is the main criteria for this list, it’s why you don’t see Artemi Panarin, who is hands down the team’s best offensive player on here. His 7-year deal signed in 2019 comes with an AAV of $11.6M, which indicates the team is paying handsomely for his production.

Let’s dive into the five best contracts on the Rangers.

1. Igor Shesterkin: 4 years, $5.66M AAV (26 years old)

On August 9, 2021 the New York Rangers extended the contract of Igor Shesterkin for four years with a $5.66 million AAV. Coming off a season where he posted a 16-14-3 record with two shutouts, a 2.62 GAA and .916 SV% in 35 games, GM Chris Drury was banking for more.

Well, he got it and more.

Shesterkin had a monster 2021-22 campaign with a 36-13-4 record. He also led the league in both GAA (2.07) and SV% (.935) on his way to winning his first ever Vezina Trophy. In the playoffs, he posted a 10-9 record with a GAA of 2.59, and a SV% of .929 in 20 appearances.

Per CapFriendly, Shesterkin’s AAV ranks 11th among goaltenders. For context, Carey Price comes in first at $10.5M. He’s followed by Sergei Bobrovsky ($10M) and Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9.5M).

Contract notes: In years three (2023-24) and four (2024-25) of his deal, a modified no-trade clause kicks in (10 team list).

2. Adam Fox: 7 years, $9.5M AAV (24 years old)

new york rangers
Mar 29, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) moves the puck up ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers acquired Adam Fox for just two draft picks in what’s considered one of the best trades in team history. They were instantly rewarded with a fine rookie season of 42 points in 70 games.

What came next was stunning. The native of Jericho, NY won the Norris Trophy with 47 points in a COVID shortened season of 55 games. In doing so, he became only the second NHL defenseman since Bobby Orr to earn the honor as a sophomore.

The Rangers rewarded Fox with a 7 year extension this past November. Even after earning his big new contract, he continued to produce recording 74 points in 78 games and adding 23 points in 20 postseason contests. Since coming into the NHL in 2019-20, his 163 points ranks fifth among all blue-liners.

Per CapFriendly, Fox’s AAV of $9.5M heading into this season ranks fourth among all defensemen. Erik Karlsson ($11.5M), Drew Doughty ($11M), and Zach Werenski ($9.58M) are ahead of him.

Contract notes: Years four (2025-26) and five (2026-27) of the deal come with a full no-move clause. In the final two years it becomes a modified no-trade (16 teams).

3. Mika Zibanejad: 8 years, $8.5M AAV

mika zibanejad
Apr 29, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) speaks to the media following a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers acquiring Mika Zibanejad along with a second round pick in 2016 for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick from the Ottawa Senators is the greatest heist of the salary cap era.

New York rewarded their top center with an 8-year extension last August for a discounted AAV of $8.5 million. The rumor mill had teams ready to offer him $10 million per season if he became an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Zibanejad, 29, scored 81 points in 81 games last season and then added another 24 points in 20 playoff games. For his career in New York spanning six seasons, he’s registered 363 points in 404 regular-season contests.

Per CapFriendly, he enters the season as the 13th highest AAV for centers in the league. Over the last three seasons, Zibanejad’s 94 goals ranks 5th and his 207 points is tied for 7th among all pivots.

Contract notes: Zibanejad has a full no-move clause for the duration of the contract, until 21 days prior to the trade deadline in the final year. It then becomes a modified no-trade with a 21 team list.

4. Ryan Lindgren: 3 years, $3M AAV

Ryan Lindgren
Jan 8, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) is congratulated at the bench after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It probably should’ve been seen as a sign, but one of Chris Drury’s first orders of business as new President and GM was to extend rugged defenseman Ryan Lindgren to a 3-year extension on May 10, 2021. The Rangers have been getting tougher ever since.

Lindgren, 24, recorded 4 goals (a career high) and 18 points in 78 games last season. He’s a top four defenseman making just $3 million per season and is the perfect partner for Adam Fox. Their symbiotic relationship on the ice is akin to the days of Brian Leetch and Jeff Beukeboom that eventually led to a Stanley Cup championship in 1994.

From shot blocking to big hits, Lindgren is worth every penny of a great contract.

Contract notes: Lindgren has no form of trade protection in his deal.

5. Chris Kreider: 7 years, $6.5M AAV

chris kreider
Apr 12, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates after scoring his 50th goal of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

When the Rangers extended Chris Kreider on February 24, 2020 right before the trade deadline, some fans were up in arms. They felt it made no sense to give a then 28 year-old a 7-year extension for a rebuilding team.

Just two short seasons later, no one is saying anything negative about the team’s leading goal scorer.

Kreider, 30, picked up 52 goals and 77 points in 81 games this past year. His on and off ice chemistry with Mika Zibanejad forms one of the best duos in the NHL. He finished third in goals scored among all skaters and his 26 power play goals led the entire league.

Per CapFriendly, Kreider’s $6.5 million AAV ranks 15th among all listed left wings.

Contract notes: Kreider has a full no-move clause that becomes a modified no-trade clause for the remainder of his contract. Starting in year five (2024-25), he must submit a 15 team list.

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