Notable Free Agents and Where They Should Sign

Let’s have a look at this summer’s UFA list in the NHL. At first glance, one thing I have noticed is that the forward list is much, MUCH stronger than the list of defensemen. John Carlson is the only defender I can really get excited about, and a few other have my interest. After that….pretty weak. The list of forwards is another story though. There are plenty of impact forwards available to be signed this summer, and John Tavares leads the pack. A name you shouldn’t forget about is Ilya Kovalchuk. He hasn’t played in the NHL for a number of years now, but he’s been ripping up the KHL and intends on returning to the NHL next season.

I have crated a tiered list of UFA’s, and also the team I believe they should sign with. Not too many surprises here, I’m looking at team needs and cap availability. And of course a bunch will be re-signing with their current teams. Here’s how my list shakes out!


Tier 1                                                   Predicted 2018 Team

  • John Tavares                             Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Ilya Kovalchuk                          New York Rangers

Tier 2

  • Evander Kane                            Edmonton Oilers
  • Joe Thornton                              San Jose Sharks
  • Paul Stastny                               Montreal Canadiens
  • James Van Riemsdyk               Carolina Hurricanes

Tier 3

  • James Neal                                 Vegas Golden Knights
  • David Perron                             New Jersey Devils
  • Rick Nash                                   Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Tyler Bozak                                New York Islanders
  • Thomas Vanek                           Florida Panthers

Tier 4

  • Patrick Maroon                         Detroit Red Wings
  • Michael Grabner                       Nashville Predators
  • Riley Nash                                  Boston Bruins
  • Thomas Plekanec                      Montreal Canadiens


Tier 1

  • John Carlson                              Dallas Stars

Tier 2

  • Mike Green                                 Florida Panthers
  • Calvin De Haan                          Vancouver Canucks
  • Dan Hamhuis                             Anaheim Ducks

Tier 3

  • Jack Johnson                              Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Toby Enstrom                            Winnipeg Jets
  • Thomas Hickey                          Colorado Avalanche
  • Ian Cole                                       Buffalo Sabres

Tier 4

  • John Moore                                 New Jersey Devils
  • Luca Sbisa                                   Ottawa Senators
  • Johnny Oduya                            Washington Capitals
  • Alexei Emelin                             Arizona Coyotes
  • Greg Pateryn                               Philadelphia Flyers
  • Nick Holden                                Carolina Hurricanes
  • Brandon Manning                     Chicago Blackhawks


So there you have it. It makes sense to me anyway. Whether or not these actually happen is a whole different story. Any rankings you don’t agree with? Let me know!

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