News broke on Wednesday night that 23-year old Swedish defenseman Rasmus Andersson has signed a contract extension with the Calgary Flames.
SIGNING UPDATE: #Flames announce they have signed D Rasmus Andersson to a six-year contract extension that carries a cap hit of $4.55 million. https://t.co/kItOXZYRmz #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/DyR0fShMiD— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) January 9, 2020
This is probably very good news for 23-year old Swedish defenseman Marcus Pettersson.
The similarities between the two are pretty striking. Andersson has played 135 career NHL games, Pettersson 149. Pettersson has 44 points (4G+40A), Andersson 31 (5G+26A). ON advanced stats they’re similar, and Pettersson sure doesn’t compare unfavorably. Here’s a SKATR chart of both since the start of the 2018-19 season, which is the majority of both of their NHL careers:
Some of these metrics can be team-dependent and the Game Score being close to equal (72 to 71) is a pretty measured indication that both players are similar. If anything, Pettersson’s Rel Teammates with his expected metrics and shot share show perhaps a better defenseman than what translates to the ice, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
All things considered, if I’m representing Pettersson this news out of Calgary is definitely worthy of a mention in the negotiations to Pittsburgh. Granted, you can’t just hold up this chart, then point to Andersson’s $4.55 million and then make it a done deal and finished negotiation process, but this does give a bit of context about how Pettersson measures up to a very similar player in age and role that just cashed in.
The Penguins, for their part, are probably comfortable knowing that they have more or less given a verbal agreement to “do right” by Pettersson for lack of a better term, due to this past summer’s negotiations.
Pettersson was a restricted free agent without arbitration rights was left without a contract until September. The Pens, short on cap space, couldn’t offer the longer term contract both parties were looking for, so Pettersson’s only option was to sign his qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season of $874,125.
The Pens were eligible to sign Pettersson to an extension as quickly as January 1st, 2020. Reports are some basic talk between the parties has started, and the expectation is Pettersson will eventually sign a fairly lucrative contract.
Given how the market is setting up for young, rising defensive defensemen with how a contract worked out for Andersson, the potential for a very good deal for Pettersson probably got a bit better on Wednesday.