What will Adin Hill sign for? It might be more than you expect.
The San Jose Sharks acquired the 25-year-old RFA from the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, sending prospect Josef Korenar and a 2022 second-round pick for Hill and a 2022 seventh-round pick.
While Hill made just $800,000 last year — not to mention that he’s been an back-up for the first four seasons of his NHL career — he looks to be in line for a big bump in pay.
Historically, RFA back-ups who are tabbed to be starters or at least a 1A/1B goalie receive significant raises.
And while we don’t know Hill’s role for the San Jose Sharks yet, judging by the draft capital paid, it’s going to be a big one. You don’t trade second-round picks for No. 3 netminders or pure back-ups.
So let’s assume that the San Jose Sharks see Hill as a likely starter/1A/1B goalie in 2021-22.
Per Puckpedia, here are all the post-pandemic goaltender signings who were restricted free agents with zero or minimal NHL starting experience when signed.
|GOALIE (AGE)||NHL GAMES||Save %||AHL GAMES||OLD CAP HIT||NEW CAP HIT|
|Adin Hill (25)||49||0.907||138||$800,000||?|
|Mackenzie Blackwood (24)||70||0.916||88||$697,500||$2,800,000 (3 yrs)|
|Linus Ullmark (27)||93||0.911||127||$1,325,000||$2,600,000 (1 yr)|
|Alexander Georgiev (24)||77||0.913||48||$792,500||$2,425,000 (2 yrs)|
|Tristan Jarry (25)||62||0.914||141||$675,000||$3,500,000 (3 yrs)|
|Ilya Sorokin (24)||0||N/A||0||$925,000||$2,000,000 (1 yr)|
|Elvis Merzlikins (26)||33||0.923||2||$874,125||$4,000,000 (2 yrs)|
|Joonas Korpisalo (25)||127||0.908||46||$1,150,000||$2,800,000 (2 yrs)|
What’s one thing that may bring down Hill’s AAV?
At the time these RFA goalies signed their new contracts — except for Hill and KHL import Ilya Sorokin — they had all played at least 30-plus games in a single NHL season. In other words, they already had proven starter/1A/1B experience.
The most NHL games that Hill has played in a year? 2020-21’s 19.
Regardless, Hill looks to be in line for at least a $2 million dollar AAV, more if he signs a longer contract. Keep in mind too, Hill has arbitration rights — that’ll help his cause.
Hill’s camp can also turn to San Jose Sharks history for a very close-to-home comp.
In the summer of 2015, Doug Wilson sent a first-round pick to Boston for Martin Jones. Up to that point in Jones’s career, he had played just 34 NHL games over two seasons, albeit with an exemplary .923 Save %.
Wilson inked his starter-to-be to a three-year, $9 million dollar contract — or 4.2 percent of the-then $71.4 million salary cap. 4.2 percent of the current $81.5 million cap is a $3.42 million cap hit.
So much depends on the role that the San Jose Sharks envision for Hill. If they see him as a pure back-up goalie, I suspect he’ll be paid as such. But I doubt San Jose surrendered a second-round pick for a back-up — so I guess Hill will be very pleased with his new contract.
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