The Las Vegas Golden Knights secured one of their top players for years to come on Sunday afternoon when Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca reported that the club had agreed to terms on a long-term contract extension with Jonathan Marchessault.
As McKenzie notes, Marchessault, who is currently making $750K, was signed to a six-year deal worth a total base value of $30 million, therefore earning an AAV of $5 million.
According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.ca, he mentions that the pending UFA’s new contract will include a modified no-trade clause while Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic Toronto mentions that the breakdown of his contract will look a little something like this:
2018-19: $7 million
2019-20: $6 million
2020-21: $5 million
2021-22: $5 million
2022-23: $3.5 million
2023-24: $3.5 million
Marchessault, a native of Cap-Rouge, Quebec, was selected by the NHL’s 31st expansion franchise in the from the Florida Panthers who left him unprotected amongst their list of seven other men. The news came after Marchessault had a career year, recording 30 goals and 21 assists for 51 points in 75 games played. It was the first time in the winger’s young NHL career in which he played an entire season at the professional level given the hard hand he was dealt to kick things off as he was constantly recalled and re-assigned to the American Hockey League to better his performance.
In the span of a career which has so far lasted five years, Marchessault has played for three different organizations before officially holding down the belt with the Florida Panthers whom he agreed to a two-year, one-way deal with back on the 1st of July, 2016. After performing so well for head coach Gerard Gallant before he was let go by the Panthers organization, it was really to nobody’s surprise come the NHL Expansion Draft that general manager George McPhee selected the Canadian to join the newest franchise.
Since joining the Golden Knights, Jonathan Marchessault has not slowed down as he currently stands alone as the club’s top scorer with 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points in 35 games played. Vegas has had an extraordinary start to their inaugural season, exceeding all expectations and for that reason itself are now currently one of the top teams in the National Hockey League today.
Not only are the Golden Knights fit for a playoff spot, they were also recently just named as the team with the second highest odds of winning the Stanley Cup. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are only four spots ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights for top spot in the NHL standings, have a higher chance of winning the Stanley Cup, according to Westgate Superbook.
What makes these odds even more impressive is the fact that at the beginning of the season, Vegas actually had the lowest odds of winning the Stanley Cup as one would expect, however, as the season kicked off, so did the Golden Knights with players like Marchessault alongside James Neal and William Karlsson who help to maintain the offensive stability that the team has in place.
As the team’s highest scorer so far this season, Jonathan Marchessault proved his worth to the Golden Knights organization who clearly see how valuable he is in all aspects of his game. He has earned a substantial pay raise as a result of his display and so the money should prove to be worth the right price if Marchessault can keep up his offensive production over the next several years which based on the way he has been playing as of late, there are simply no signs that he is slowing down anytime soon.
Marchessault, Karlsson alongside Reilly Smith have formed the Knights’ most productive offensive line in their 27-9-2 start, as Vegas is second in the NHL in team scoring at 3.50 goals per game. The Panthers stand still at 19th with 2.74 goals per game.
The Knights are Marchessault’s fourth NHL team, having played briefly in the past for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012-13 before skating two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, after which he signed with the Panthers as a free agent.
Many in the hockey community thought that Jonathan Marchessault was drafted in order to be traded later in the season to help General manager George McPhee to help with the long term success of the organization, however, as of now, it is safe to conclude that the originally undrafted forward will not be leaving the City Of Lights anytime soon due to his long-term contract extension which will see him through to the 2023-24 season.
The expansion Knights now have 16 players under contract for next season to come and could very well lead the way once again if all remains steady, proving to fans everywhere across the NHL that they are clearly amongst the teams to beat within the league.