Erik Karlsson signed a seven-year contract worth $45.5 million dollars yesterday. While in Las Vegas, getting ready for the NHL All Star awards, Karlsson agreed to terms on a deal with an average cap hit of $6.5 million dollars.
This deal isn't too much of a surprise as it is in the ballpark of the other Norris candidates Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara. The term is suprising as it takes the young blue-liner past his RFA years.
In regards of fantasy impact the contract is negligible in most leagues. Karlsson will still be the top offensive threat on the blueline and command most of the power-play minutes when healthy. Personally I expect Karlsson to regress back to 45-55 points as teams learn to key in on him next season, but he should be a top option for years to come.
In salary cap leagues he will now be paid like a the top-level player he is. The concerns with Karlsson's contract are two-fold. The questions are:
1) Can he evolve his defensive game to the level needed by a player earning this kind of money? and;
2) Given his size, can he stay healthy?
As a fantasy owner, or potential owner, you only have to worry about the one of those things.