The average salary of an American Hockey League, or AHL, hockey player varies greatly depending on the age, experience and fame of the player. Novice players tend to earn between between $50,000 and $65,000 while the biggest names easily earn in excess of $150,000 and may even break $1 million a year.
With such a large disparity between the salaries of top AHL players and their youngest counterparts, a mathematical average of the entire league provides misleading data.
The majority of teams in the AHL have an annual payroll of around $2 million each year, although Chicago and Rochester both had annual payrolls in excess of $3 million a year during the 2009-2010 season thanks to the huge salaries of players like Micheal Nylander and Patrick Rissmiller. For example, with a $3 million annual salary, Nylander was the highest paid player of the 2009-10 season.
Salaries vary very little whether a player is a defender, a forward or a goaltender, as fame and name seem the most important drivers of salary.
Most teams have at least one younger player earning less than $40,000 annually, and outside of the biggest names the average salary for journeymen players sits at around $68,000 a year.