Many have been hesitant in their expectations of Victor Rask. Is he a 1st or 2nd line center in the making? Is he just a really good player that would be a 3rd liner on most other teams? Seems like the Canes already have one of those.
When Rask signed his six-year, $24 million contract extension last July, it left many wondering if Ron Francis had put too much stock into two seasons in the NHL. When a player signs such a long extension on a rather short body of work, there’s always an underlying chance it could could handicap the team down the road.
However, Rask is only 24 years old and has never scored less than the 33 points he did in his rookie season. The young Swede finished the 2017 campaign with 45 points, which was down from 48 the previous year. This season’s slight dip was in tow of a below-average 8.6 shooting percentage (Sh%). If Rask’s Sh% migrates toward the league average of over 9%, it’s not out of the question he could consistently score 50-55 points — especially when sharing a line with Jeff Skinner.
Rask is currently getting paid almost $89,000 per point scored. This figure is fourth best on the team for players not on an entry level deal. The top 3 players on Carolina in regard to this metric are Lee Stempniak (62.5), Elias Lindholm (60), and Derek Ryan (20.6). Cost per point is not a great indicator of contract status; but it gives you a sense of how much Rask is getting paid in relation to his peers. Ideally for a fringe top-6 forward, the figure would be closer to $75,000.
It is way too early to determine how good (or bad) Victor Rask’s contract will prove to be. If the third year pro maintains his growth trajectory, the extension will look like another genius move by Ron Francis. On the other hand, if the alternate captain plateaus and continues to score in the mid-40 point range; the Hurricanes’ could end up being on the wrong end of a salary dump.