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NHL Free Agency: Top 10 UFAs in Early September

Training camp is close, so some of the top UFAs will be scrambling to find news homes in due time. Here's a look at 10 of the best free agents still on the market.
Evan Rodrigues

OK, the available talent pool is even smaller at this point.

A week ago, Sam Steel and Sam Gagner were still on the market. Both signed inexpensive deals to become bottom-six scoring options, and Minnesota and Winnipeg will be better off for it.

But we're less than two weeks away from training camp, and the pressure is mounting for teams to figure everything out quickly. There's a good chance we'll see a couple of these players below signed in due time.

So, let's look at 10 of the best UFAs still on the market:

1. Evan Rodrigues, C, 28
2021-22 cap hit: $1,000,000

One of the best value players last year, Rodrigues had 43 points in 82 games, a career-best campaign after never breaking the 30-point barrier in his career. Sidney Crosby was the center he played with the most, though, and over half his goals came on the power play. Still, you can at least rely on him around the net, and he shouldn't be too expensive.

2. Sonny Milano, LW, 26
2021-22 cap hit: $1,700,000

He'll forever be remembered as the guy that capitalized on the Zegras over-the-net passing play. He had a good season and clearly has a ton of skill, so it'll be interesting to see his value.

3. P.K. Subban, D, 33
2021-22 cap hit: $9,000,000

Subban might not be the player he once was, but he can still bring good value at the right price. Expect a one-year "prove it" deal for Subban.

4. Tyler Motte, LW, 27
2021-22 cap hit: $1,225,000

Motte won't wow you offensively, but his defensive and gritty play makes him a tough depth guy to play against. For a team needing a hard-working bottom-six forward, Motte can be that guy.

5. Anton Stralman, D, 35
2021-22 cap hit: $5,500,000

Stralman's cap hit didn't look that pretty last season, but he still managed over 21 minutes a night on a bad Coyotes team. He likely won't do that on a contender, but he can still be decent help somewhere.

6. Tyler Ennis, C, 32
2021-22 cap hit: $900,000

Ennis hasn't played in at least 70 games since 2017-18 and has only done it three times in the past decade. Still, as a mobile, quick-moving forward, Ennis still brings value to teams in need of scoring deep down in the lineup, even if it's not every night.

7. Danny DeKeyser, D, 32
2021-22 cap hit: $5,500,000

Injuries have played a factor in his on-ice abilities being a bit of a mixed bag, but you can do much worse. Teams know what they'd be getting in DeKeyser, including injury liabilities.

8. Daniel Sprong, RW, 25
2021-22 cap hit: $750,000

Sprong had just 20 points last year, but he still had 14 goals with Washington and Seattle. Not too shabby on a league-minimum deal, and after just missing the 15-goal mark two other times in the three years before that, that's decent scoring in a depth role.

9. Zach Aston-Reese, LW, 27
2021-22 cap hit: $1,730,000

Reese has never been a goal-scorer, but his value as a defensive forward can't be ignored. Aston can play a physical game, but he has never broken the 10-goal barrier and had a career-high 17 points as a rookie in 2018-19.

10. Alex Galchenyuk, LW, 28
2021-22 cap hit: $750,000

Galchenyuk is far from the 50-point guy he once was, often struggling to be a full-time contributor in the NHL. In a full season, 20-25 points at a low price is still likely doable.


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