The current signing of defenseman-forward Vince Dunn to a four-year, $29.4 million extension with the Seattle Kraken has raised some fascinating parallels and potential implications for Evan Bouchard of the Edmonton Oilers. Whereas the specter of an arbitration listening to has modified the leverage for Dunn and Bouchard does not have that card to play this summer time, the deal may present some perception into what the Oilers are near signing with future negotiations in the event that they signal Bouchard to a bridge deal and push his long-term negotiations down the street.
Vince Dunn’s strong contract with the Seattle Kraken
The Kraken made a considerable dedication to Dunn by providing him a four-year extension value $7.35 million per season. The deal follows a stellar season for Dunn, wherein he put up spectacular numbers: 14 targets, 50 assists and a complete of 64 factors in 81 video games, with a notable +28 +/- score. That is certainly a mutually useful deal for Dunn and the Kraken, because it provides the Kraken some value safety, but in addition avoids overcommitment over time for a participant who has not established an extended historical past of elite efficiency. If Dunn continues to ship at this stage, the contract will show itself.
The extension ties Dunn to the Seattle Kraken till the top of the 2026-27 season, eliminating the necessity to undergo the possibly contentious arbitration course of. Moreover, it positions Dunn to capitalize on the chance to change into an unrestricted free agent when the contract expires, probably opening the door to an much more profitable deal.
Parallels with the scenario of Evan Bouchard
Dunn’s contract can function a degree of reference when contemplating potential future negotiations for the Bouchards. Though there are key variations between the 2 gamers, similar to their age (Bouchard is 23 and Dunn 26) and their taking pictures hand (Bouchard is right-handed whereas Dunn is left-handed), their offensive tendencies and potential impression on the group are comparable.
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When it comes to level manufacturing, Dunn’s stats for the season had been undeniably spectacular, recording 64 factors on 14 targets and 50 assists. In the meantime, Bouchard, although much less skilled, nonetheless contributed considerably with 40 factors on 8 targets and 32 assists. The disparity within the deployment turns into obvious when one observes that Dunn was given the function of high defenseman early within the season, whereas Bouchard needed to look forward to his alternative to shine after the departure of Tyson Barrie.
Notably, their current ice climate fashions point out a similarity of their use. Whereas Dunn averaged 23 minutes and 40 seconds of ice time per recreation final season, Bouchard’s common was 18 minutes and 31 seconds. Nevertheless, Bouchard’s improve in ice time in the direction of the top of the season, the place he noticed over 20 minutes in 12 video games and over 23 minutes in 5 of these 20 video games, suggests the Oilers are grooming him for an even bigger function, which can probably result in a rise in his level manufacturing.
Associated: Oilers Have 3 Respectable Targets If They Lose Evan Bouchard
Contemplating Dunn’s contract proportion of the present wage cap (8.8%), it is cheap to foretell that if Bouchard turns into a 60-65 level participant and the wage cap hits $90-95 million by the top of the 2025-26 season, his contract may very well be within the vary of $7.95-8.2 million per season. This, in fact, explains the truth that Bouchard may have three constant seasons of robust offensive manufacturing and far more leverage in negotiations primarily based on previous efficiency.
The Oilers pays dearly if Bouchard explodes offensively
Dunn’s new contract with the Seattle Kraken gives an intriguing benchmark in opposition to which to gauge Bouchard’s future contract negotiations with the Oilers. Whereas there are variations of their respective circumstances, their offensive talents and potential impression on the group do line up, suggesting that Bouchard may get a large contract just like Dunn’s if he continues to develop and showcase his talents. In actual fact, on condition that the Oilers have the NHL’s finest energy play and Bouchard would be the quarterback, 70 factors per season over the following two seasons is not outrageous in relation to what Bouchard may produce.
Solely time will inform how the careers of each gamers will unfold, however one factor is evident: the NHL panorama is consistently altering and contract negotiations will proceed to be influenced by unprecedented offers like Dunn’s with the Kraken. This transition contract that Bouchard is about to signal signifies that a way more costly payday is coming within the not too distant future.