Skip to main content

Top 10 Remaining UFAs After Day 1 of NHL Free Agency

The NHL's opening day of free agency was wild, with over 130 signings, both big and small, across the league. But there are still some quality UFAs on the market, and there's a lot of value still to be had.
Nazem Kadri

The NHL's opening day of free agency was wild, with over 150 signings, both big and small, across the league. But there are still some quality UFAs on the market, and there's a lot of value still to be had.

Here's a look at 10 of the best UFAs still available:

1. Nazem Kadri, C, 31
2021-22 cap hit: $4,500,000

Kadri picked an incredible year for a breakout season, scoring 28 goals and 87 points in the regular season and 15 points in 16 playoff games en route to a Stanley Cup run. He's poised for a long-term deal, but like with any player that breaks out in their 30s, you know the final few years could be a bit rough. Still, a huge get this summer.

2John Klingberg, D, 29
2021-22 cap hit: $4,250,000

Klingberg never found the offensive flair that made him a 67-point defender back in 2017-18, but he's the best defenseman on the market and doesn't need to rush to a deal at this point.

3. Dylan Strome, C, 25
2021-22 cap hit: $3,000,000

It'll be a busy summer for the Stromes, with Dylan coming off of one of the best seasons of his career with 48 points. He's young, can put up good numbers and has done quite a lot for a pair of teams with just one playoff appearance over his career. Imagine what he can do on a contender.

4. Phil Kessel, RW, 34
2021-22 cap hit: $8,000,000

Kessel quietly had a 52-point season, but the once-consistent 30-goal scorer only managed to score five at even strength this year. At the right price, Kessel can be good scoring depth, but his contract made him a challenge to move at the deadline in an attempt to win the Cup.

5. 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.

6. Nino Niederreiter, RW, 29
2021-22 cap hit: $5,250,000

A power forward, Niederreiter never has hit the 50-point barrier twice, but don't expect him to do that without a perfect situation again. At 29, he still has some good hockey left, but he's definitely more of a secondary option.

7Paul Stastny, C, 36
2021-22 cap hit: $3,750,000

Stastny is still chugging along, even at 36. You have to wonder how much competitive hockey he has left, but the skilled center can still hold his own defensively and it was nice to see him hit 45 points this year, his best regular season total since 2015-16. It's his age that's concerning.

8. Danton Heinen, LW, 27 
2021-22 cap hit: $1,100,000 

Heinen had a nice bounce-back year with the Penguins, but ultimately wasn't qualified. Let's see what teams think of the 18-goal scorer from last year.

9. 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 what his value ends up being.

10. Rem Pitlick, LW, 25 
2021-22 cap hit: $917,831

Pitlick had a strong season with 15 goals and 37 points but the Canadiens left him unqualified. Could he be a nice discount pickup elsewhere?

UPDATE: Ondrej Palat was removed from the original list due to his reported signing with New Jersey.



NHL Hot Seat Radar: Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins' competitive window is shrinking – something that happens to virtually every successful franchise – so it's up to the team's management to see how they approach both the short- and long-term future.

Juraj Slafkovsky

Prospect Pool Overview: Montreal Canadiens

From making the Stanley Cup final to snagging the first overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens have had a riveting last year and a half. Tony Ferrari looks at the team's prospect pool and who you need to get excited about.


Jets Sign Appleton to Three-Year Extension, Avoid Arbitration

The Winnipeg Jets and forward Mason Appleton have avoided arbitration, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract extension.