What Is The Value Of Jared Spurgeon?

Christian Petersen

Like or him not, Jared Spurgeon has been a bargain defenseman for the Wild for the past few seasons. Signed onto an bare minimum NHL Entry-level deal with no performance bonuses, he jumped right into the lineup and played like a very strong #4 defenseman.

He has done so for the past three seasons but now it is time for the Minnesota Wild to start throwing up some cash. But how much are we expecting?

Let us start off with finding similar players to Jared Spurgeon and looking at their stats:

Name Age On Pace for... (Pts) Average Ice Time/Game 2012/13 Cap Hit
Tobias Enstrom 28 56 22:31 $5,750,000
Andy Greene 30 27 23:02 $3,000,000
Raphael Diaz 27 49 20:33 $1,250,000

And let us compare these to Spurgeons:

Name Age On Pace for... (Pts) Average Ice Time/Game 2012/13 Cap Hit
Jared Spurgeon 23 31 21:32 $526,667

A Unique Player

I can understand why the New York Islanders decided not to sign Jared Spurgeon to an NHL Entry-level deal: there is no one like Spurgeon in the league.

Spurgeon plays a more two-way game with solid puck skills and mobility but not an offensive dynamo some might expect from a 5-9 defenseman. He is neither speedy or elusive; he just plays smart.

And even though I listed a few players that MIGHT be compared to Spurgeon, he really is in a class of his own so it is hard to compare him to other players. He is one of a kind and that gives his new contract a very different element for Wild management to discuss.

What does Spurgeon bring?

Diaz and Greene seem the closest to Spurgeon, minus the fact that Spurgeon is only 23 years old. The undersized Wild defenseman's importance is between Greene and Diaz. Greene leads the Devils in icetime and Diaz is fourth behind three other very talented defensemen.

Spurgeon has been a clear #3 for the Wild and has not looked out of place. He gives the team a versatile defenseman that can play on both special teams (regular minutes on the 2nd PK unit and secure spot as the #2 man on the first PP with Ryan Suter). Although not his niche, he can still throw out some solid hits and block shots.

Valuation

So considering Jared Spurgeon has played like a #3 defenseman for the Wild the past two seasons, has the ability to play in all-situations and is only 23 years old, his next contract should be a significant improvement over his entry-level deal.

Also consider his play is quite similar to Greene/Diaz hybrid but at a much younger age. He should be making something between $3,000,000-$1,250,000 but at the higher end due to his age.

I would offer Jared Spurgeon a contract of $2,450,000/yr for 2-4 years. The offer will give the team flexibility when it will have to re-sign Jonas Brodin, Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle. Spurgeon's party should also be happy as it sets him up for a very rich payday when he reaches UFA status, hitting the $3mil mark.

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