6 year/ $22.5 million
The first defenseman to crack the Friday Five is Mattias Ekholm. He signed a six-year deal in 2016 worth a total of $22.5 million and a cap hit of $3.75 million. Prior to this deal Ekholm had a contract where he made a little more than a million per season. He more than tripled his previous salary and is still under one of the best contracts on the Predators.
Looking only at offensive production many people would assume Ekholm struggled this past season. However, this could not be further than the truth. He might have only scored three goals for the entire year; still, his presence was felt. Playing alongside P.K. Subban he was able to adjust his style and focus on a defense first mentality.
No matter who Mattias Ekholm plays the blue line with, he will be a valuable cog in the Predators’ defense. His ability to adjust his game is invaluable. His puck-moving ability is jaw-dropping, and he is under contract for five more years at 3.75 million. Unbelievable.