How much is Steven Stamkos actually worth?

Steven Stamkos is likely to draw a contract with an average annual salary in eight figures. But how much is he really worth when considering the numbers? NHLI via Getty Images

Superstars like Steven Stamkos hit the open free-agency market so rarely that it's difficult to predict what size of contract will ultimately be signed. How much is he worth?

There's no question that Stamkos is one of the game's most dangerous goal scorers. In the time since he entered the NHL, he ranks second to Alex Ovechkin in goals per game among active players, has led the league in goals twice, was runner-up for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2011-12 and was twice named to the NHL's second All-Star team. His services should be pursued by virtually any team with the cap space to spare.

Modern advances in statistical hockey analysis make it possible to estimate a player's overall contributions, and to measure that in terms of goals, points and even cap space. From this perspective, Stamkos' performance warrants a hefty increase from last year's cap hit of $7.5 million, but can't justify a league-high cap hit of $10.5 million -- or more.