How Much Do AHL Hockey Players Make?


AHL (American Hockey League) players’ salaries can vary widely, but as of April 2023, the typical range was as follows:

The minimum salary for AHL players was approximately $52,000 per year.
Players on two-way contracts (contracts that have different salary levels depending on whether the player is in the AHL or NHL) generally earn more, with AHL salaries often ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 or more.
Top players in the AHL, particularly veterans with significant professional experience, can earn higher salaries, sometimes exceeding $200,000.

It’s important to note that these figures can vary based on the player’s experience, contract terms, and the team’s financial capabilities. Players on two-way contracts will have different earnings when called up to the NHL, typically seeing a significant increase in their salary during their time in the major league.

1. Do AHL players receive benefits in addition to their salary?
AHL players do receive benefits such as healthcare and insurance, just like players in other professional sports leagues. These benefits may vary depending on the specific team and contract.

2. Can AHL players negotiate their salaries?
AHL players have limited bargaining power when it comes to negotiating salaries. The league and team salary cap, as well as the player’s experience and potential, heavily influence the salaries offered.

3. Do AHL players have opportunities to earn bonuses?
AHL players can earn performance bonuses based on their individual performance or team achievements. These bonuses are often outlined in the player’s contract and can add to their overall earnings.

4. How do AHL salaries compare to NHL salaries?
AHL salaries generally fall well below NHL salaries. While entry-level NHL contracts can start at around $650,000 per year, the average salary in the NHL is well above $1 million. AHL player salaries are typically lower due to the developmental nature of the league.

5. Can AHL players have endorsement deals?
AHL players can have endorsement deals, but these opportunities are comparatively limited compared to NHL players. The AHL has a smaller audience and less media exposure, making it harder for players to secure lucrative endorsement agreements.

6. Do AHL players receive per diem payments for travel and meals?
AHL teams often provide players with per diem payments to cover expenses while on the road, including meals and incidentals. The exact amount varies by team but is typically around $50 to $100 per day.

7. Can AHL players advance to the NHL and earn higher salaries?
Yes, many AHL players dream of making it to the NHL, where they can earn much higher salaries. Successful AHL players can be called up to the NHL and sign contracts worth millions of dollars, significantly increasing their earning potential.

The average salary of AHL hockey players ranges from around $50,000 to $400,000 per year, depending on factors like experience and contract type. While AHL salaries are considerably lower than those in the NHL, players have the opportunity to advance to the higher-paying league if they excel in the AHL.