15T13. Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals: $5.75 million
Niskanen certainly knows how to play the game - of NHL contracts, not just ice hockey. This past season was the final year of his contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Virginia, Minnesota native exploded with career highs in goals (10) and assists (36), both of which exceed his totals from the previous three seasons combined. Niskanen parlayed that success into a seven-year, $40.25 million contract with the Caps that he signed in July. He also has built a reputation of coming up big in crunch time by notching six game-winning goals a year ago, which tied for the most among blueliners with the Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larson.