Carolina Hurricanes: Comparisons for Teuvo Teravainen’s extension

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 03: Teuvo Teravainen #86 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates his second period power-play goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with his teammates on the bench on January 3, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 03: Teuvo Teravainen #86 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates his second period power-play goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with his teammates on the bench on January 3, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Yesterday the Carolina Hurricanes delighted their loyal fans with the announcement of Teuvo Teravainen’s five-year contract extension. We look at some comparables for the deal, both outside the organization and inside.

Fans of the Carolina Hurricanes are not accustomed to having nice, shiny things. A playoff drought that looks like it may extend into a second decade looms large in the minds of all fans of the team; former franchise forward Jeff Skinner was traded in the summer of 2018, and there are constant rumors that some of the Canes’ best players are on the verge of being traded.

It was a very pleasant surprise when the Canes dropped the bombshell yesterday that Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen has signed a five-year, $5.4m AAV extension to stay in Raleigh until 2024. That is a fantastic show of commitment to the team, its fans, and the long-term ambitions of the owner Tom Dundon, and we are very relieved that one of the team’s most important players is locked up long-term.

But how does Turbo’s extension compare with similar deals around the NHL?

CapFriendly is your friend

The first stop when comparing contracts in the NHL is the ever-amazing CapFriendly, who handily generate a list of relative comparables to any contract at the simple press of a button. Doing so brings out several close comparables for Teravainen, one of whom was acquired by the Carolina Hurricanes just last week. So without further ado, let’s see how Teravainen compares to some of those similar contracts around the NHL.

Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild

The closest comparable contract to Turbo’s is Jason Zucker, who comes in at 96.6%. Zucker signed a five-year extension with the Minnesota Wild in July 2018 with a cap hit of $5.5m annually. At the time of signing, Zucker had played 330 career games; he had 97 goals and 75 assists for a total of 172 points. He was, however, coming off a career year, having scored 33 goals and adding 31 assists for a total of 64 points.

Guess who had 64 points last season? That’s right, Teuvo Teravainen. Turbo posted 23 goals and 41 assists last season, and has followed that up with a further 10 goals and 29 assists in 48 games – which is 17-49-66 pace. These two contracts are nearly identical, with Zucker receiving marginally more thanks to a breakout season and the premium placed on goals – but whereas Turbo has gone from strength-to-strength this season, Zucker has regressed to 22-18-40 pace.

If you’re building a future for your franchise, Teuvo Teravainen is your pick here.

JT Miller, Tampa Bay Lightning

A local rival for Teuvo is the Lightning’s JT Miller, who signed his five-year extension in June 2018 to the tune of $5.25m annually. The Lightning also threw in an 8-team No-Trade Clause, which presumably took the edge off the price a touch. His contract is a 95.7% match for Turbo’s, according to CapFriendly.

Miller produces less than Teravainen; at the time of signing that extension, his record stood at 82-108-190 in 360 GP. Compare that to Turbo’s 65-124-189 in 326 GP, and it’s clear that the Canes got another good deal here.

Bear in mind that Miller is on pace for 12-34-46, and that Teravainen is on course for that 17-49-66 record, and this is another win for the Canes.

Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers

Our first Metro Division comparison, Mika Zibanejad is a year and a half into his five-year extension penned in July 2017. His contract is a 95.6% match, and he has a full NMC built into his contract for the final three years which would inevitably brought down the cost of his $5.35m AAV deal. Without that NMC, Zibanejad’s deal is at least $500k a year more expensive for the Rangers, as the clause ensures that Zibanejad cannot be moved in the Expansion Draft. His agent deserves a pat on the back.

When Zibanejad signed his deal, he had a record of 78-110-188 in 337 GP. That’s one less point in eleven more games played than Teravainen. Bearing in mind the lower cap at the time, and the reduction in AAV thanks to the NMC – plus the marginally lower production – this is a narrow win for Teravainen’s contract. But it’s still a win.

Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning

Another 2017 five-year contract extension was signed by the Lightning’s Ondrej Palat. His deal is a 93.3% match for Turbo’s, and carries a cap hit of $5.3m annually. However, he too has protection: a full No-Trade Clause in years 2, 3 and 4, and a 10-team NTC in the final year of the deal. The deal doesn’t protect him from the Expansion Draft, but it does mean he can’t be moved by the Lightning without his agreement.

At the time of signing, Palat had played 307 career games, and had a great record – 74-144-218, quite a bit better than Teravainen’s record. While the numbers show that his deal is arguably better than Teravainen’s, his production since has not lived up to the numbers. He has never played a full 82-game season, and over the Lightning’s last 130 games he has played just 89 games. 55 points is a good return for those 89 games, but he’s playing at 17-32-49 pace this season (if you extrapolate to a full 82-game season), and isn’t pulling up trees.

At the time of the two signings, you have to give the edge to Palat. However, he has struggled to live up to that contract since putting pen to paper, and fans of the Carolina Hurricanes will be full of confidence that no such concerns can be had over Teravainen’s future. He has only missed one game in his time with the Canes, and can be relied upon for more offense than Palat generates.

Nino Niederreiter, Carolina Hurricanes

Who thought a week ago that we’d be comparing a Teuvo Teravainen contract extension to Nino Niederreiter of the Carolina Hurricanes? Comparing Turbo’s deal to Victor Rask’s would have been a much simpler task – but GM Don Waddell pulled off a masterstroke to swap Rask’s bloated contract for a much better one.

When El Nino signed his five-year extension with the Wild in July 2017, his record was 87-91-178 in 391 career games. Just like Jason Zucker, he was coming off a career year – 25-32-57 – and regressed after signing the deal. Now he’s with the Carolina Hurricanes, and has started his time with the team in very promising fashion.

El Nino’s deal may be a 92.8% match with Teravainen’s – but this is a 100% win for Teravainen’s deal.

Next. How do the Canes fare in back-to-backs?. dark

Teuvo Teravainen is a bonafide top six forward on every NHL team, and his contract compares very favorably to other similar contributors elsewhere in the NHL. Carolina Hurricanes fans were delighted by the news that Turbo had signed an extension – and we all look forward to cheering him on until 2024.