With NHL Free Agent Frenzy coming and going last week, many teams in hockey have new faces on their roster as we gear up for another exciting season of hockey. It feels like the Stanley Cup Finals were just yesterday, but the draft has come and gone and it’s nearly time for training camp.
Names like Dougie Hamilton and Philip Groubauer may no longer be available, but there are still a few remaining UFA’s that haven’t signed yet. Here are my top remaining free agents that teams should consider going after.
NHL Free Agent
Tatar was injured during the miraculous Montreal Canadians playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals, but he is a legitimate second or third line winger that is still in his prime. The 30-year-old had thirty points in 50 games last season with the Habs, and has three prior seasons of 25+ goals or more.
The Slovakian winger’s best offensive campaign came in 2019-2020 when he finished with 22 goals and 39 assists.
I’ve always been a fan of Tyler Bozak, and I felt super vindicated after he helped the St.Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup in his first season with the team back in 2019. Bozak is a decently skilled player, but has always been a second or third line centre that will help out in a shutdown role.
Now at age 35, I would expect him to be a good fourth line centre, and provide almost the same value that Brandon Sutter does for the Vancouver Canucks.
James Neal is a very one dimensional player, but put him with the right linemates, and he can become a scoring machine. Neal has ten seasons of 20+ goals under his belt, and registered 11 points in 29 games last season with the Edmonton Oilers. He was bought out on July 27 by the Oilers after a highly disappointing second half to the 2021 season.
The 33-year-old can still be a decent scorer and provide value on the powerplay for a team that is offensively challenged. Neal has also been to two Stanley Cup Finals before, so he has plenty of experience on the grandest stage of them all.
Believe it or not, Ryan Murray was the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft but his career hasn’t panned out the way scouts thought it would. The Saskatchewan native’s NHL experience was ruined by injuries early on, and Murray’s value became so low that the team that picked him traded the d-man to Devils in 2020 for a fifth round pick.
Murray remains a free agent in 2021, but could still be a decent option for a team looking for a sixth or seventh defenseman. The former Everett Silvertip is still only 27 years old, and I’d take him any day over other UFAs like Jordie Benn and Erik Gudbranson.
The 34-year-old Finnish netminder was the starter for the majority of the Boston Bruins success for the last ten seasons. Now a UFA, Rask reportedly doesn’t want to play for anyone but the Bruins, but still hasn’t signed. Rask played in 24 games this past season, finishing the season with a 2.28 GAA and .913 save percentage.
He’s made two All-Star games in his career, and won the Vezina Trophy back in 2014. The Savonlinna native has a career .921 save percentage in 560 games, which is very impressive to say the least. If you’re still a team looking for a reliable starter that has loads of playoff experience, Rask is your guy.
For more NHL news and betting tips, check us out at here. The NHL free agent season is one to watch with a close eye as teams are making signings everyday.
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