Breaking News: Leon Draisaitl’s Agent Sets Summer Deadline for Oilers Contract Extension…

Agent of Leon Draisaitl Discusses Timeline for Potential Oilers Extension

With most of the significant contracts for the 2024 class of unrestricted free agents already finalized, attention is shifting to the notable 2025 group. Among the top names is Oilers center Leon Draisaitl, who, despite earning $8.5M per year, has been one of the NHL’s best bargains in recent seasons. This is likely to change as the 28-year-old is set to become one of the league’s highest-paid players with his next contract.

The timing of this new deal remains uncertain. Edmonton is currently searching for a new GM following Ken Holland’s departure, with team president Jeff Jackson temporarily filling the role. Jackson has indicated that he does not wish to take on the position permanently, so a full-time replacement for Holland is being sought. It is logical for this hire to be made before substantial contract negotiations commence.

Draisaitl’s agent, Jiri Poner, who is based in Europe, has suggested a deadline for reaching an agreement. In an interview with Eishockey News’ Michael Bauer, Poner mentioned that the end of summer might be the cutoff for finalizing a deal:

“There’s no rush yet, but either it happens quickly, i.e. by the end of August, or it doesn’t work out at all,” Poner said. “It will also become clear whether Edmonton really wants him or not. Leon holds all the trump cards.”

Technically, Edmonton can negotiate with Draisaitl until he becomes a free agent next July, but Poner’s stance implies that Draisaitl might prefer to avoid negotiations during the season. If this is the case, the new GM will have limited time to secure an agreement.

Draisaitl has surpassed the 100-point mark in five of the last six seasons, ranking second in points in the NHL during that span, only behind his teammate Connor McDavid. McDavid’s contract, signed in 2017, carries a $12.5M AAV and isn’t a great comparison. However, Auston Matthews’ recent $13.25M AAV deal with Toronto could set the benchmark, especially if Draisaitl hits the open market next summer.

Edmonton faces a challenge in potentially paying Draisaitl market value for the 2025-26 season, knowing that McDavid’s contract will also need to be renewed the following year, likely at a higher rate. The new GM will need to address this issue quickly given Poner’s comments about a possible deadline for negotiations. Despite this, Poner expressed confidence that both sides will successfully reach a deal to keep Draisaitl with the Oilers for years to come.

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