The news we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: Aleksander Barkov has been signed to a 6-year contract extension worth a total of $35.4 million ($5.9 million AAV) and will keep Barkov with the Panthers through the 2021-22 season
Barkov’s contract extension will likely turn out to be the steal of the century for the Panthers as he is already one of the best centers in the NHL. Anze Kopitar, a player that many compare Barkov with, recently signed an 8-year, $80 million contract ($10 million AAV) extension with the Kings, and considering Barkov is not too far off from the level of Kopitar, this deal looks great on paper.
The 20-year old top-line center has been one of the most consistent players for the Panthers since he entered the league during the 2013-14 season. Despite jumping into the league at 18-years old, Barkov managed to play the best two-way game of anyone else on the team, and since Jaromir Jagr arrived late last season, he’s been even better. There’s no doubt that Barkov is a key piece to the present and future of the franchise, and this contract extension is yet another example of the Panthers’ ownership’s commitment to winning.
Barkov’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season at which point he would’ve become a restricted free agent. Barkov has 12 goals, 18 assists, and 30 points through 38 games this season.