Nikita Kucherov's extension hasn't even kicked into gear yet, but if his production continues into future years, the ​Tampa Bay Lightning seem to have gotten away with highway robbery. 


Kucherov signed a lofty extension last season, paying him $76 million over eight years with a cap hit of $9.5 million. Considering he's on pace for 135 points, which would be the highest point total in over two decades, $9.5 million is chump change to what he could be making. 

​​He's undeniably worth $12-13 million a year, yet the Lightning got him at a massive discount. 


As it stands, Kucherov will be the 12th highest-paid player in the NHL. You can spin it any way you want, but that's a gross underpayment for the most offensively talented player in the league and a tremendous win for the Lightning front office. What's also crazy is that he has a 10-team no-trade clause that kicks in during the final three years of the contract. 

The Lightning will be hard-pressed to keep their ​star-studded roster intact this offseason given their impending free agents, both restricted and unrestricted (Brayden Point is one to keep in mind). However, with a team-friendly contract like Kucherov's, they should have no problem maintaining a Stanley Cup-caliber team for many years to come.