What a New York Rangers extension for Filip Chytil will look like
The New York Rangers have to be very pleased with Filip Chytil’s play this season. It’s taken a few years for the big center from Czechia to find his game at the NHL level but he’s really made strides.
After struggling with consistency since being drafted 21st overall in 2017, Chytil has now been a reliable offensive threat this 2022-23 campaign for the Blueshirts. In 38 games, he’s registered 24 points and is flirting with a 50 point season.
This is all great stuff, except when it comes to trying to figure out what Chytil’s next contract will look like and how the Rangers can make it work with their cap situation.
Filip Chytil contract extension
Chytil, 23, signed a two-year extension on July 19, 2021 for an AAV of $2.3M. This summer, he will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and the Rangers must at least qualify him with an offer of $2.6M per Cap Friendly.
According to Arthur Staple of The Athletic (subscription required), the Rangers and Chytil’s camp have had preliminary contract talks. Unfortunately, due to NHL salary cap only going up $1 million next season, plus the Rangers also needing to re-sign K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafreniere, and Vitali Kravtsov it makes getting something done soon very difficult.
That being said, Chytil has become an important piece to this Rangers team and is finally maturing into the player they wanted.
So what does a contract extension for Chytil look like? Well, that will depend a lot on where the Rangers are salary cap wise after extending K’Andre Miller and Alexis Lafreniere.
Sam Bennett as a comp for Chytil’s next deal
Speaking with a knowledgeable source regarding a decent comparable I was directed to look at Florida Panthers’ center Sam Bennett. Even though their playing styles are different, situationally they’re very close.
Bennett signed a four-year deal with the Florida Panthers on July 26, 2021 for an AAV of $4.425M. Prior to doing so, he registered 27 points in 48 games as a 24 year-old. That’s very close to the scoring pace Chytil is on this season.
Should the two sides fail to agree on an extension, it would not surprise me if Bennett’s contract was used as a comp. A one-year award will fast track Chytil to unrestricted free agency, so it’s safe to assume GM Chris Drury will want to avoid this.
There’s also the question of what Chytil wants in terms of role and ice time. The day the Rangers extended Mika Zibanejad and then gave Vincent Trocheck as seven year contract in free agency, it basically locked him in as a third line center.
That’s not to say that Chytil can’t overtake Trocheck for the second center spot, but it certainly isn’t a given. And having Trocheck as the third line center isn’t a bad thing. Matter of fact, it would mean the Rangers were not only deep but excellent down the middle.
In the end, the Rangers and Chytil will most likely come to terms on another two-year deal, which would make him a UFA when it’s up. I’d expect the AAV to be at the $4M to $4.5M mark as well.
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