Looking at the top 2021 unrestricted free agents

By on May 24, 2021 0

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings, we take a look at the top unrestricted free agents for the 2021 offseason.

We separate the players into two groups: the best skaters (forwards and defenders, discussed in the video above) and the best goalies.

Paving the way for skaters are Alex ovechkin (who is almost certain to re-sign with his current squad), Dougie Hamilton, and Gabriel Landeskog, while the Bruins will need to make new deals for two-thirds of their newly formed second scoring line.

On the keeper list, Tuukka Rask and Philipp grubauer show the way.

Where do the best players end up in our NHL power rankings?

In this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

Best skaters

1. Alex Ovechkin. Will he ever enter the market for unrestricted free agents? Certainly not. But he’s technically an unrestricted free agent at this point, so he’s at the top of the list. The only question is how long the Capitals sign him again and for how long. He just finished a 13-year, $ 124 million contract that turned out to be a steal.

2. Dougie Hamiton. The best defenseman eligible for unrestricted free will, and also one of the best all-round defensemen in the league. It shouldn’t run out of suitors if it hits the market. A team like Philadelphia should be all here. Much like Carolina when it comes to signing him again.

3. Gabriel Landeskog. A high-level, two-way player who has been a key cog in what has become the most talented team in the league. Given his status as Avalanche captain and the role he plays alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen on the top row, re-signing it should be a priority. It probably won’t be a good deal anymore.

4. Taylor hall. For the second year in a row, Hall is heading into the unrestricted free agent market, and its value is going to be fascinating. He had a brutal season at Buffalo with a one-year contract. He was traded to Boston and looks like the MVP player he was a few years ago. Put him in the right situation and he will excel. Boston seems to be the right situation.

5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkns. Re-signing Nugent-Hopkins should probably be a priority for the Oilers. Their depth before after Connor mcdavid and Leon Draisaitl is already bad. They can’t afford to lose the one very good player they have beyond them.


6. Blake coleman. I know that his next contract will be much bigger than the $ 1.5 million deal he’s currently playing on. Great defensive forward who can score 20 goals and play with an average streak. The type of GM players go crazy, especially in free agency.

7. David Krejci. Krejci can still play and has been awesome between Hall and Craig smith. The fact that he’s entering his 36-year-old season takes him down the roster a bit.

8. Jaden schwartz. When he’s healthy, you can comfortably score him for 20 goals and a good number of possession in 82 games. Very good mid-six player.

9. Kyle palmieri. Very underrated player who is a regular goalscorer of 25 to 30 goals and very good defensively. Not a player who will change your franchise, but a good contributor for a contender. The only concern is the fact that he will start his next contract in his 31-year-old season.

ten. Tomas Tatar. One of the best possession drivers in the league with fantastic underlying numbers across the board. Probably a better player than you think.

11. Brandon saad. Saad never became an All-Star, but he’s a great add-on piece for a contestant. Good two-way player who can participate in an attacking role in a mid-six role.

[Related: Can Avalanche keep Brandon Saad beyond this season?]

12. Zach Hyman. He sort of gets lost in the shadow of the Toronto superstars, but Hyman has grown into a solid winger who has scored at a rate of 25 goals for 82 games for three years now.

13. Tyson barrie. The buyer is suspicious of big letters. Great offensive numbers, but he was playing in a great environment for that with McDavid and Draisaitl and on the league’s best power play. His defensive game leaves much to be desired. Do not pay for the total points here.

14. Phillip danault. His offensive numbers have dropped a bit this year, but an outstanding defensive forward who can score 10-15 goals. Each team in the league can use a player like this in their last six.

15. Paul stastny. Stastny will be 36 next season but he hasn’t really shown any signs of falling. It’s no longer a front row cross, but if he skates as a second or third row cross, you’re going to have the start of a solid line.

Best goalies

1. Tuukka Rask. Boston (the fan base, that is) never fully appreciated what it had in Rask. For their (and the Bruins’) sake, they better hope he re-signs so they don’t have to find out the hard way how they got him.

2. Philipp Grubauer. You kinda forget him with all of the Colorado All-Stars on the attacking defense, but he’s been a hugely productive goalie when he’s in good health. Not one of the elites, but definitely a goalie you can win with.

3. Chris Driedger. The good news: Driedger has been awesome playing the last two seasons. The disturbing news: His NHL sample is 38 regular season games. How much do you want to engage in free will?

4. Linus Ullmark. The best case you can do for Ullmark is that over the past three years the Sabers have 41-34-11 when he starts. They are 37-70-14 years old when he doesn’t.

5. Frederik Andersen. In his heyday, Andersen was a very productive and extremely durable goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who constantly carried a heavy workload. He’s really started to slow down the last couple of years.

Adam gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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