What would a long-term Noah Hanifin extension look like?

Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
Folks, based on what the likes of Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, it sure sounds like the Calgary Flames and Noah Hanifin are closing in on a potential contract extension. But considering Hanifin’s age, experience, point production and prominent position, what would a long-term Hanifin extension look like in terms of cap hit?

About Hanifin

Hanifin is a 26-year-old left shot blueliner. He turns 27 in January.
Because he became a full-time NHLer in 2015-16, the season after he was drafted, he’s accumulated much more NHL experience than players the same age. Put another way: most 26 or 27-year-old pending UFA defenders have far fewer NHL games played than Hanifin, making him a bit of a unicorn in that respect.
Heading into this season, Hanifin had 49 goals and 239 points in 598 games. (That’s 0.082 goals per game and 0.400 points per game.) Over the past three seasons, he had 21 goals and 101 points in 209 games. (That’s 0.100 goals per game and 0.483 points per game.)
At this point, Hanifin is what he is: a pretty reliable all-situations blueliner.

Recent long-term defender deals

Let’s cherry-pick UFA-aged blueliners that signed new deals since the beginning of 2022 and try to wrap our heads around Hanifin’s market value. Again: he’s a bit of a unicorn, and it makes it challenging to find precise comparators.
Devon Toews
Toews signed a seven-year, $7.25 million AAV extension earlier in October. Toews is 29, so his extension begins when he’s 30, three years older than Hanifin (and the deal covers more of his projected decline).
Heading into the season, Toews had 40 goals and 184 points in 315 career games (0.127 goals per game and 0.584 points per game). Over the last three seasons, he had 29 goals and 138 points in 199 games (0.146 goals per game and 0.693 points per game).
Toews has more impressive offensive numbers than Hanifin, so you would reasonably assume that despite a Hanifin deal covering more of his prime years (and less of his decline), he would probably get a bit less than Toews.
Damon Severson
Severson signed his deal in June, a couple months before his 29th birthday. His deal is eight years with a $6.25 million AAV. He’s two years older than Hanifin in a contractual sense.
When he signed his deal, he had 58 goals and 263 points in 647 career games – 0.090 goals per game and 0.406 points per game. In the three seasons prior to signing, he had 21 goals and 100 points in 217 games – 0.097 goals per game and 0.461 points per game.
When signing, Severson was older than Hanifin and his offensive production is lower, so Hanifin would likely merit a higher AAV.
Travis Sanheim
Sanheim was 26 when he signed his extension with the Flyers in October 2022. He turned 27 before his extension began. His deal is eight years with a $6.25 million AAV.
Prior to signing, Sanheim had 29 goals and 116 points in 335 career games – 0.087 goals per game and 0.346 points per game. In the three seasons prior to signing, he had 18 goals and 71 points in 204 goals – 0.088 goals per game and 0.348 points per game.
These guys are similar ages, but Hanifin has way more NHL experience and has been established as a more reliable NHL point-producer. Again, reasonable to assume he would get a bit more.
MacKenzie Weegar
Weegar was 28 when he signed his extension in October 2022. He signed for eight years with a $6.25 million AAV. His extension kicked in when he was 29, two years older than Hanifin’s would.
Prior to signing, Weegar had 27 goals and 121 points in 306 career games – 0.088 goals per game and 0.395 points per game. In the three seasons prior to signing, he had 21 goals and 98 points in 179 games – 0.117 goals-per-game and 0.547 points-per-game.
Hanifin’s younger than Weegar, more experienced, and has slightly higher career offence (but slightly lower recent offence). Hanifin should probably get a higher AAV than Weegar got.
Hampus Lindholm
Lindholm signed his extension in March 2022 as a 28-year-old. He signed for eight years with a $6.5 million AAV. His deal kicked in when he was a year older than Hanifin would be.
In his full seasons prior to signing (e.g., ignoring the 2021-22 season), he had 52 goals and 200 points in 521 career games – 0.100 goals per game and 0.384 points per game. In the three full seasons prior to signing, he had 10 goals and 57 points in 150 games – 0.067 goals per game and 0.380 points per game.
Hanifin’s younger than Lindholm was when he started his extension. His offensive production is better, especially recently. It seems probable that he gets a higher AAV on his deal.

Sum it up

On Monday’s edition of Barn Burner, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli ball-parked where he sees a Hanifin extension landing: “My guess is he’s somewhere between MacKenzie Weegar and Devon Toews.”
We’ll see how it shakes out if, or when, a deal is completed.

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