Jeff Skinner signs massive 8-year extension with Sabres

The 27-year-old has put pen to paper on a long-term deal after putting up a career-best 40 goals during the 2018-19 season. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
The 27-year-old has put pen to paper on a long-term deal after putting up a career-best 40 goals during the 2018-19 season. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

From a financial standpoint, Jeff Skinner picked a fantastic time to put together one of the best seasons of his NHL career. And, as a result, the 27-year-old will be getting paid well for the next eight seasons.

Very, very well. Nine million dollars per year, to be exact.

Following eight steady campaigns with the Carolina Hurricanes to begin his professional career, the 27-year-old was dealt to Buffalo in August for prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks.

From there, in the last year of his six-year, $34.35 million contract, Skinner shone. His 40 goals during the 2018-19 set a career high and tied for 12th in the NHL. His 63 points last season also matched his career-best, a total he’s now put up three times.

As a result of the deal, Skinner is now 16th on the NHL salary chart, according to John Vogl. While this move by Buffalo’s general manager Jason Botterill has locked up a very capable winger for franchise centrepiece Jack Eichel, there may be more head scratching than celebration upon further inspection.

When you compare his contract to others in the NHL, he’s in some pretty elite company. Names like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Steven Stamkos and Jakub Voracek are a few of the names signed to comparable contracts.

All four of those men have put together multiple 80+ point seasons in their careers.

While Skinner — the 2011 Calder Trophy winner — was electric last season, he’ll now have to prove it wasn’t a fluke. His shooting percentage of 14.9% during the 2018-19 campaign was the best he’s ever put up. According to Jonathan Willis of the Athletic, if he would have shot at his career average rate, he would have only scored 29 last season.

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