NHL Rumors: Cole Caufield's Next Contract Possibilities

The Montreal Canadiens locked Nick Suzuki up at the right time. The team's top line centre has a cap hit of less than many top line centermen in the league. He is and will continue to be one of the Canadiens' top players. But let's take a look at another young player who will also be a significant driving force for the team for years to come. Cole Caufield.

Eric Engels said that the Canadiens would likely want Caufield's extension to be less than Suzuki's $7.875 million AAV. This can be done, but there are a few things that need to happen. With the trajectory Caufield is on and the impact he's had under head coach Martin St. Louis, he is only going to keep getting better. If the Canadiens want to lock Caufield up for under $8 million per season, they will have to start contract talks immediately.

Caufield is in the final year of his entry-level contract and already has four goals and five points in the team's first six games. He has also been one of the most prolific goal-scorers since St. Louis took over the team last season, regardless of how good the team was. Caufield has solidified his spot on the top line and as the team's best goal-scorer.

Before Caufield puts up 40 goals and demands a lot more money, the Canadiens could look to lock him up on a 3-4 year bridge deal where the AAV is lower. Then when the league's salary cap has gone up, they can have a real idea of what kind of player he is and give him the big pay-day then. The other way of looking at that is to reach an 8-year deal with Caufield soon and expect him to outperform that deal. The Canadiens would have a steal of a contract if that happens during a time they are expecting to be competitive once again.

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