On October 29th,2019, the Nashville Predators agreed to terms with their best defenseman, Roman Josi, to an eight-year, $72.472 million ($9.059 AAV) contract on an extension that will kick in following the conclusion 2019-20 NHL season. Josi entered the 2019-20 season on the final season of a seven-year, $28 million ($4 million AAV) contract, and was set to become an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
This season, the Nashville Predators have faced plenty of adversity, as GM David Poile decided to relieve coach Peter Laviolette of his duties on January 7th and replace him with former New Jersey Devils head coach, John Hynes. Nashville had lost four of their last five games and was eleventh in the Western Conference at the time of the change. Since then, the Predators are 16-11-1 under John Hynes and currently hold the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference with a 35-26-8 record. They were also playing very well before the play stoppage and had a record of 6-3-1 in their last ten games, while on a three-game winning streak.
Individually, Roman Josi had another spectacular season for the Predators. His sixty-five points were the best on the team, and his forty-nine assists were also a team-high. He even chipped in sixteen goals, which was fifth behind Filip Forsberg (21), Nick Bonino (18), Craig Smith (18), Mikael Granlund (17) for the team lead. For a defenseman, Josi registered a very solid 16:15 penalty taken/drawn ratio but had a less impressive giveaway/takeaway ratio of 68:34 (-34 turnover +/-). Josi also had a team-high +22 +/- number.
AB wise, Josi finished with a +3.08 individual AB score for the 2019-20 season, which was his best season since 2017-18. This score was the second-best score of his career, trailing only to the +4.07 score he registered in that 2017-18 season. Josi has a +0.71 career AB score as a defenseman, which is incredibly impressive. This is Josi’s fourth straight positive individual AB season.
Our arbitration analyzer ranks Josi as the second-best defenseman in hockey behind Washington’s John Carlson. Carlson makes $8 million to Josi’s now $9.509, which means both of these defensemen are underpaid according to our analyzer. Josi and Carlson are very much outperforming the consensus elite defensemen that make double-digit money such as LA’s Drew Doughty ($11 million AAV), and San Jose’s Erik Karlsson ($11.5 AAV). Both Josi and Carlson deserved to be paid more than these players according to our analyzer. Interestingly enough, St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of 2019-20 and is the fourth highest-rated defenseman according to our analyzer behind John Carlson, Roman Josi, and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. More to come on Pietrangelo’s projected contract, as that article will be posted tomorrow. Overall, we believe Roman Josi is an incredible hockey player on a team-friendly contract and think he will obviously be a huge part of bringing Nashville it’s first Stanley Cup one day. More to come.