Updated March 12, 2018 10:24:19Calgary Flames forward Nikita Scherbak is among the NHL’s top players in salary-cap space, according to new figures released by CapFriendly.com.
Calgary will need to spend $6.7 million on players in 2019-20 to be in position to sign Scherbaks contract, which would make him the fifth-highest-paid defenseman on the Flames roster, according the site.
Scherbak, who turns 29 next month, has been the Flames best player since being drafted seventh overall by the organization in 2013.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound center has posted career highs in goals (15) and points (41) while scoring at a career-best 1.84 points per game.
The Flames have the second-most points in the NHL behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins at 3.1.
The Flames acquired Scherbark as part of the trade for goalie Niklas Backstrom from the Columbus Blue Jackets, who will send back defenseman Jordan Leopold.
Calgary is currently tied for first in the Pacific Division and is in the midst of a playoff chase.
Shelbak’s cap hit is $6,800,000, which makes him the fourth-highest on the team behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6,775,000), Johnny Gaudreau ($6.2 million) and Andrew Ference ($5.8 million).
He will be eligible for a $2.25 million salary-based bonus in 2019, $3 million in 2020 and $2 million in 2021.