Best Remaining UFAs With Two Weeks Left Until NHL Training Camps Open

Photo: NBCS

With training camps across the NHL set to open in two and a half weeks, there are a number of players still looking for jobs and will likely get at least a shot at one since teams have needs. NoVa Caps looks at the five best forward and three top defensemen who are currently unrestricted free agents.

Forwards

RW Alex Chiasson

Chiasson will turn 32 prior to the start of the season and is coming off of a season where he turned in 13 goals and 22 points in 67 games with the Vancouver Canucks despite averaging just 9:44 per game (14th among the team’s forwards), 1:54 of which coming on the penalty kill. He will likely cost around $1 million.

LW Tyler Motte

The 27-year-old turned in seven goals, 15 points, and a 48.35% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage in 58 regular-season games with the Canucks and New York Rangers before earning two goals in 15 postseason outings. His 1:50 average penalty killing time per game was tied for 64th in the NHL. Motte could cost around $2 million against the salary cap.

C Joe Thornton

The 43-year-old, who is still pursuing his first Stanley Cup, is coming off of a season where he notched five goals and 10 points in 34 regular-season games and appeared in one Stanley Cup Playoff content with the Florida Panthers. Thornton, who averaged 1:19 on the power-play in Florida and will likely play for league-minimum this season, ranks 12th all-time with 1,539 points and seventh with 1,109 assists.

LW Sonny Milano

The 16th overall pick in 2014 posted 14 goals, including finishing center Trevor Zegras’ “Michigan” pass on December 7 against the Buffalo Sabres, and 34 points in 66 games with the Anaheim Ducks. Milano, who could command around $3 million on his next deal, averaged 2:08 on the power play.

C Evan Rodrigues

The 29-year-old finished 2021-22 with 19 goals and 43 points in 82 regular-season games and three goals and five points in seven postseason ones with the Pittsburgh Penguins but his production fell off midway through the season as he tallied four goals and 13 points in his final 49 games. Rodrigues, who averaged 1:39 on the power play and 26 seconds on the penalty kill, could come with a price tag of around $3-3.5 million per season.

Defensemen

RHS P.K. Subban

The 33-year-old recorded five goals, 22 points, a -8 rating, 50.51% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 52.34% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 51.75% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 77 games with the New Jersey Devils. He averaged 18:18 per game (35 seconds on the power play and 52 on the penalty kill). Subban, who could count around $2-2.5 million against the salary cap, won the Norris Trophy with the Montreal Canadiens in 2012-13 and King Clancy Trophy last season.

LHS Zdeno Chara

The 45-year-old tallied two goals, 14 points, a +8 rating, 43.37% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 45.64% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 43.99% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 77 games with the New York Islanders while averaging 18:44 per game (sixth among team’s defensemen), including 1:44 on the penalty kill (fourth). Chara will likely cost close to league minimum.

LHS Calvin de Haan

While taking on an average of 18:57 per game (fourth among Chicago Blackhawks defensemen), including 1:36 on the penalty kill (fourth), in 2021-22, the 31-year-old put up four goals, eight points, a -21 rating, a 47.31% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, a 45.48% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a five-on-five 45.21% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 69 regular-season games.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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3 Responses to Best Remaining UFAs With Two Weeks Left Until NHL Training Camps Open

  1. Anonymous says:

    Link seems to be to the wrong article (Brett C article rather than the best available UFAs).

  2. Anonymous says:

    We still need a defenseman!

  3. DWGie26 says:

    I suspect there will be deals made as training camps come to a close and teams see what they have in inventory. Given all of the LD we have if nobody is stepping up, maybe we look at someone like Calvin Dehan. I really hope LuJo comes in ready and takes that 3LD spot.

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