Brayden Schenn's new contract with Flyers could look like Kyle Palmieri's with Devils

The Devils signed their top scorer to a deal that could be similar to what Brayden Schenn and the Flyers agree on this summer.

The New Jersey Devils signed restricted free agent forward Kyle Palmieri to a new five-year, $23.25 million contract on Thursday morning, a deal that could compare similarly to what Brayden Schenn ultimately gets from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Palmieri and Schenn are similar players in a lot of ways. Both are about to enter their 25-year-old seasons, both are in RFA this summer, and both are coming off of seasons in which they scored right in the ballpark of 30 goals and 30 assists.

Season GP G A Pts Season GP G A Pts
2013-14 Schenn 82 20 21 41 2013-14 Palmieri 71 14 17 31
2014-15 Schenn 82 18 29 47 2014-15 Palmieri 57 14 15 29
2015-16 Schenn 80 26 33 59 2015-16 Palmieri 82 30 27 57

And last year in particular, they really couldn’t have been more similar:

Schenn’s scoring was a little more balanced, with emphasis on both goal scoring and primary assists, while Palmieri inflated his numbers a bit with secondary assists but was productive to the level of a first-line player in his goal numbers.

The outlook is really the same with both players, though: these are a pair of talented, well-rounded secondish liners who are the same age, play in the same division and are both at the same points in their careers.

Schenn has been a more productive player for longer than Palmieri has, scoring more than 40 points in both 2013-14 and 2014-15, while Palmieri only broke that barrier for the first time this past year.

But free agency is often a case of what have you done for me lately, and a lot of these deals are made in large part based on the most immediate season on record. I could see Schenn maybe getting a slightly larger contract than Palmieri, but just given how similar these players are in so many ways, I can’t imagine it being too much more beyond that. In fact, you could even foresee an argument that Palmieri is more valuable to the Devils than Schenn is to the Flyers purely because Palmieri was their leading scorer last year.

Here are some other comparable deals, with help from General Fanager. Mikkel Boedker is the only player on the list below who signed his contract as an unrestricted free agent. All the others were RFA.

Contract Years Player Pos Signing Age Contract Length Cap Hit Goals* Assists* Points*
2013-2018 Wayne Simmonds RW 25 6 years $3,975,000 15 17 32
2016-2019 Mikkel Boedker LW 26 4 years $4,000,000 17 34 51
2015-2020 Nick Bjugstad C 23 6 years $4,100,000 24 19 43
2015-2019 Craig Smith C 26 5 years $4,250,000 23 21 44
2016-2021 Nazem Kadri C 25 6 years $4,500,000 17 28 45
2013-2016 Brad Marchand LW 25 4 years $4,500,000 18 18 36
2013-2018 Max Pacioretty LW 24 6 years $4,500,000 15 24 39
2014-2018 Tyler Ennis C 24 5 years $4,600,000 21 22 43
2013-2017 Bryan Little C 25 5 years $4,700,000 24 22 46
2016-2021 Vincent Trocheck C 23 6 years $4,750,000 25 28 53
2016 - ?? Brayden Schenn C/W 24 ?? ?? 26 33 59
*stats are for the season before the deal went into effect

So, five or six years at an average annual value of somewhere between $4.5 million and $5 million for Brayden Schenn? It’d compare well with the six-year, $4.3 million per year deal that Sean Couturier signed a year ago. Seems like that’s where this will land -- assuming the two sides make a deal before heading to arbitration.