On Brock Nelson’s new deal and its impact on Chris Kreider

In case you missed it, the Islanders re-signed Brock Nelson to a six-year, $6 million deal. Nelson, who will turn 28 when next season starts, is coming off a 25-28-53 season, a career best for him. Before that, his career high was 45 points and 26 goals. The center has only broken 50 points once and has only topped 25 goals twice.

With that deal, many are naturally comparing it to Chris Kreider and his potential new contract. It’s not a direct comparable, as Kreider will be 29 years old when his new deal is up and is not a winger, but it’s pretty darn close. Nelson’s last contract was a one-year deal at $4.25 million a season. Kreider’s deal expires next year and is at $4.625 million, which was a four-year deal off his bridge contract. Nelson more than doubled his contract, whereas Kreider will not. Kreider’s career high is 28-25-53 two seasons ago, almost matched last year by 28-24-52. He, too, has only cracked 50 points twice, and 25 goals twice.

If Kreider were to sign an identical contract extension, it will take him from his age 29 season through his age 34 season. It’s not his prime, but there are still some solid years there. It’s also a plus that Kreider’s skill set is one that ages relatively well, so while we would expect a decline, it wouldn’t be as sharp as say, Ryan Callahan’s. With every long term contract there is a risk, but if the club is looking at Kreider as the next captain — and next captain to be traded — then securing him to a long-term deal is in their future.

Evolving Wild’s contract predictor is up, replacing Matt Cane’s (hired by the Devils this offseason). They have Kreider at a five-year deal at $6.1 million and a six-year deal at $5.9 million. That’s right in line with the Nelson contract. For what it’s worth, though, they had Nelson at six years and $5 million. There’s usually a +/- 20% on these predictors, so that’s at the very high end. There are tons of outside factors, such as the Isles have no home and play in Brooklyn, to consider, but I think it’s safe to assume that EW has things pretty well laid out.

Using that expected 20% range, that puts Kreider with a five or six year deal at somewhere between $4.8 million (not happening) to $7.2 million. I’m betting that everyone will jump at Kreider’s deal at anything up to about $6.25 million, and then we will start seeing folks get weary on the term. For what it’s worth, Kreider at four years is $5.5 million, so there really isn’t much variability. Kreider’s value is around $6 million.

While the contract is a decision point for the Rangers, it is not the main decision. Their first decision will be whether or not to re-sign Kreider, which is a big deal. If they aren’t looking at him as part of the future, then re-signing him becomes a moot point, and he is likely gone at the draft. If he’s part of the leadership core going forward, then locking him up to a long-term deal is going to be inevitable.

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  • Trading Kreider is a pretty stick situation. There are no LW’s currently on the team to replace him. IF you trade him, its after replacing him JUly 1st in UFA open season.
    If he’s traded at the draft, you’ll need a high end winger thats a NHL ready prospect in the deal.
    But signing Kreider fills one of 2 top LW positions for at least 2-3 years. His contract will be longer, yes. Worry about that, then… he might surprise us and finally become a 30 goal scorer next season.
    Let’s face the fact here. We are entering “Evaluation Period Season 2 – The Finn and the Russians”.

    There are some pretty elite level LWers that can be had if NY will offer up these later picks and Kreider. Florida has a Finn that can’t score goals but dishes the puck like Adam Oates on steroids. The Wild have a Russian LW fighting for NHL time taken in the 5th round that they don’t have room for. Nashville and Tolvanen… Winnipeg that their Finn… Edmonton and Puljujarvi.
    As I dream

    but that’s what you trade a Kreider for. not a big fat maybe 3-4 years away.

    • Package Kreider ,Pionk, and a draft pick for Trouba. ,who is by all accounts available for trade.

      A first pair of Brady and Trouba fixes a glaring need longtime.

      Sign Panarin , who by all accounts wants to come to N.Y., to pick up the LW the Rangers lose in Kreider.

      • Although I prefer to keep Kreider and try to get Trouba or someone like him for less, what you suggest is a viable option IF Panarin is not looking for the sun, the stars and the moon along with 7 years to sign a contract.

      • Remember when Kreider got hurt w the blood clots I think, the rangers fell off the wagon and then they started trading everyone, I know he’s not a 40goal scorer, but his game is more than that, just sign him & let him play mean, what can we lose ,AV, ain’t here no more to mess with the rugged style of play that is appreciated in the playoffs

      • I like Trouba. But man, if he ever comes here I hope he has broad shoulders to handle the expectations that are already piling up on him.

        Trouba is one year away from UFA and the talk is Trouba/his wife wants to come here. Awesome – then let’s not overpay for someone who one year from now can be had without giving up any assets.

        Why not just swap Kreider for Trouba straight up and let the UFA chips fall where they may.

        Defenseman are more valuable than forwards you say? OK – then we can throw in Pionk, if they will take him, or perhaps Vesey. But let’s not be giving up draft picks as the rebuild begins to take shape. That is how we got here in the first place.

        • Swarty

          Great idea, and as much as I’d like to keep Chris, I don’t want to sign him for more than 4 years, at $5.5 to $6 per year. The guy is worth that much, but not more in term, so if push turns to shove, you make the deal you proposed!!!!!!!

        • Trouba is a true pro D man. Plays both sides of the ice and is comparable to McD, not a bad thing.

          Jacob would give the Rangers a true top pair D an for the next 7 years, at least. He can move the puck out of the zone and help create offense, while being a better than average defender.

          He’s in his prime years, so paying him a 7 x 7 contract should not be an issue. I think he and Skjei would make a very good top pair, and allow the rest of the Rangers’ D players to play on levels that more fit their talents.

          The Jets cannot take contracts back, so it starts with getting their own #1 pick back, and maybe a player like Strome, a center that they would need at a reasonably low cap hit. Plus whatever to round out the trade.

  • My only comment is that one major asset Krieder has is his speed, which I think will diminish in the next couple of years. If he would sign for 3 years at $6.1M I would sign that tomorrow. I think you offer him up at the draft and see if there is great value in moving him. I think just getting good picks is not enough of a return.

    • Top end skaters really don’t lose their step, Mike Gartner & Selanne never lost a step, did they?

      If he loses a step, he has 3 more to give; so he’ll be good to go over the life of his contract.

  • Personally, I believe not only that Kreider’s present value, as a legitimate NHL wing who plays hard and fast and is by all indications a great teammate, is high, but that he has significant future value as a mentor and example for the young players we’re adding. I’m not saying we pay the moon and stars to keep him, but that we shouldn’t under estimate what he brings to the table. Considering that the cap will go up over the course of his career, I’m OK with $6MM for 5 years.

  • Kreid’s has the great speed and size which is difficult to find, but imo doesn’t use that size along the boards and behind the net to dominate shift after shift. While he is outstanding in front of the net and able to open up the ice at times, he lacks any snarl once the offensive chance has passed and flat out disappears for games at a time.
    Sorry but Krieds game has bothered me for years and I really hope JD’s first stamp on the club is trading him (not for a bag of pucks has to be something substantial because he is worth significant assets) to truly continue building a new identity.
    Just a lurkers opinion.

    • Every player disappears, now and then, but I think his game is taylor made for the playoffs, sign Ck1

  • Maybe we can do Kreider for 4 yrs at $6.1m with a team option for a 5th year.. If we have to trade him may be a deal can be struck with Calgary for say Kreider and our 2nd no. 1 Matthew Tkachuk and a2nd rd pick or a decent prospect (Dillon Dube or Tyler Parsons). just me thinking on this 1.

  • Krieder might be an asset as he speaks Russian, but he does disappear for games. He is truly an enigma. Not sure how I feel about him to tell the truth. If the price is right keep him. If a team like San Jose needs to add some flash after losing EK, maybe they want him and a 2nd for Timo Meir, I would make that move in a heartbeat. Maybe he is the key for bringing back Trouba. I would not go beyond 4 years at $6M per.

    • Just a thought, and not criticizing you, but Kreider may not use all those tools, and may disappear at times because he was discouraged to be physical by the Tinkerbelle coach, AV???

      Let’s not forget the Montreal PO’s where he laid out Price, I believe his game changed right after that incident!!!!!!!

  • The numbers sound about right but I don’t see the Rangers crossing the $6.25m mark unless the deal is say 4 years.

  • The Islanders like giving out bad deals too! Kreiderman has so many tools in his tool box that he doesnt use correctly…Trade him…You bring in Panarin and 2 ELC guys Kravstov and Kakko…you dont need 20

  • Dave, a question: As the salary cap goes up, so do salaries. Do you know how well these contract predictors anticipate this? IOW, do they tend to be right – or are they lagging indicators which tend to give low estimates? In the latter case, the Nelson contract suggests that Kreider will end up closer to $7M per.

  • I think that Kreider doesn’t disappear as much as some might believe. I often look at the box score after games. One thing that usually stands out is that Kreider is usually among the leaders in hits if not the leader. I think the guy uses his body a lot more than he is given credit for and he is pretty fearless in standing in front of the opponent’s net looking for tip ins an redirecting the puck. He is also a bright guy. I think he should stay and might be worthy of wearing the “C”. The numbers look about right to me.

  • Unless they’re getting a bonafide top line left wing (Panarin), I don’t think they can trade Kreider.
    He’s brought the best out of Mika and they need a reliable top line to compete in this league. Too many teams have one dominant line, and the Rangers have to be able to match.
    Like any goal scorer, it comes in bunches and is inconsistent, but he’s an effective 2 way player even when he’s not scoring and he creates goals through screens as a net front presence.
    Don’t trade him unless you’re 100% you can replace him, and all the kids are question marks for a year or two.
    Even Kakko should have a season as a 2nd or 3rd liner before being expected to produce against top talent.

    • Keep CK1,AV, is gone in the wind, unleash our beasts,ps I like what Lemiux brings also, get rid of the softies, also I would give Strome a shot too, put up goals with minimal ice time, let’s see if he can do it again

  • Tough one. I’d take him at 6 if it was the old Kreider, you know the one that used his speed to run over goalies.

    That’s the one I would pay 6 for. This one not more than 5 per for two years.

    Chris if you are reading this. Stop trying to be mr nice guy. If you hit a goalie because a dman is trying tit are you down after you burn them. It’s on them not you.

    Fly into the zone hot and go right at that goalie.

  • 6 to 6.5 million a year for a guy that never broke 30 goals, and isn’t considered a playmaker? And will be exiting his prime sooner rather than later…. NO THANKS! Use his cap space on something more useful and younger going forward.

  • Power forwards need time to be one, is what I’ve heard or read more then once. If Kreider is a true power forward, talk of trading him is premature. Big, fast, scores goals, hits, lives in front of net, and don’t recall him backing down from any opposing player. By the way, the Rangers finally can say there’s prospects that are apparently going to be good. Great, any of them filling Kreider’s shoes any time soon?

  • For CK, a take it or leave it 4 year, $7M per deal.

    No way I wold give him more term than that. If not, then he gets traded.

  • If I can get him for $6mm AAV, I’d sign him for 8 years and front load it in a heartbeat. $9mm the 1st 3 years, $4.5mm at the back. The moment he loses two steps you have the luxury to move him at a salary below AAV.

      • Ain’t gonna be here 8 years, but (barring injury)he’ll still have his wheels at the end of that contract. The last half of that contract will be a screaming deal for most every team in both AAV via a rising cap and on a cash basis.

        If you do year 2 as a minimum paragraph 1 salary and the rest as a July 1 bonus, you can get away with not even protecting him in the expansion draft.

        • 8 years is a long time my friend, with a player starting the contract at 29 years of age.

          That’s why I would have no problem giving Trouba 7 years. And while Panarin is not that much younger than Kreider, he plays a much different game that will sustain a lot longer than CK’s game.

          • That Panarin will hold up longer than Kreider is laughable.

            When Panarin loses a step, it’s not like he has the frame to protect the puck or anything else to keep from becoming a marginally above replacement player.

  • Only thing we should be doing is trading Chris Kreider for assets 1st and 3rd and a prospect!!!,,Nothing else ,, If we Want a serious group to become relevant there is nobody on this team that will us win 3-5 years from now….Trouba is a similar version off Skeji why even bother ,,,, We need elite top level 20 year old players Patience is the key to long term success , not band aid 2 nd pair defensemen who whine etc.. therefore, Rangers had a good run ,,TRADE Chris Krieder while you can ………Lets build it

    • I would think that CK’s value is similar to Hayes’. Meaning a first as a rental.

      These illusions that CK will bring back an impact NHL player are over. It goes downhill from here, as CK has finally proven that this is as good as he will ever be.

  • We can debate trading him or not, all day long. But lets not lose sight of the fact it takes two, or more, to make a trade. If JG feels the value is their in a trade, then consider it. I just feel we either trade him or sign him before next year, his walk year. One must also consider what he and his agent will be demanding in a new contract. Does the dollars and term make sense?
    However, above all if he demnds a no trade clause, then trade him, Period. Simply put, at this stage in our rebuild, we can live with him or without him.

    • IMO, it’s very simple quite honestly, either CK accepts a contract on the Rangers’ terms or he will be traded if he does not.

      CK’s “willingness” to take a reasonable contract will tell the tale, because I think that the Rangers will at least offer one to him.

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