The NHL season hasn’t even started yet but it is fun to look at who might reach free agency at the end of the year. Most guys end up signing contracts before they hit free agency but that’s not always the case.
5. James van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs
JVR is a high end talent but he might not be sticking with the Maple Leafs for much longer. JVR has been a longtime Leaf but the Leafs have a bunch of young talent they are going to have to pay soon. JVR would fetch a nice return in trade if thats the route the Leafs choose to go he’s had success on bad Maple Leafs teams and on the good ones. He put up 62 points last year and is still on the right side of thirty.
4. Kyle Turris – Ottawa Senators
Turris has been the top line center for the Sens and he’s been improving every season in the NHL. He was always the next man up after Jason Spezza’s departure and he’s due to be paid like it. He is currently making 3.5 mill but he should end up making close to 7 especially with the way the market is trending and the way young players are being paid. Last year Turris was the Sens go to guy in the Eastern Conference Finals and he put up 10 points in his 19 games. Turris would routinely put up around 50 points a year if he was able to stay healthy.
3. Evander Kane – Buffalo Sabres
Kane has had a ridiculous career and had so much potential but he’s still young and if he has a good year in Buffalo he’ll get paid well. Kane had a mediocre season least year but still put up 28 goals. Goals in the NHL are at a premium and if Kane can fetch a nice return if he has 20 goals by the deadline as the Sabres will probably trade him. Kane is currently making 6 mill and he likely won’t command that much again unless he has another 30 goal season.
2. John Carlson – Washington Capitals
Carlson has been the number one defenseman on the Capitals for the past three seasons he deserves to be paid as a number one. Only problem is the Capitals are in absolute salary cap hell and they are gonna have their hands full resigning him. Carlson only makes 4 mill a year and will certainly use some comparable contracts like Hedman(7.85 mill) and Fowler (6.25). If the salary cap increases then it is likely Carlson will see a contract with roughly a 6.5 mill a year deal. Carlson is only 27 and will be a mainstay on the Capitals blueline as long as they can work out a deal.
1. John Tavares – New York Islanders
It seems that every summer there is a big name free agent that is looking for a new home. Tavares has stated that he wants to stay with the Islanders but usually big name guys sign an extension the summer before they are slated to hit free agency. Tavares is a premium player in the NHL and he’s proven he deserves a big pay day. He should receive a contract similar to Stamkos’ contract of 8.5 mill but might even receive more due to Leon Draisaitl signing a similar deal this offseason. Tavares has 537 career points in his 587 career games. Tavares is certainly the most talented free agent and will command the highest paid contract.
Written By: Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)