For fun, this has been updated as of August 21. Changes in bold. O
nly change from last week is actually someone I missed. RFA signings are stalled out. The Islanders capped off their offseason with a release of all their signings, so now this list is an interesting one showing the teams who aren’t making deals quickly.
Just like with the UFA list that is now updated with just over 50 names on it, this is all the RFAs with at least 20 games played last year.
- Noah Dobson (Islanders) is a young defenceman who likely has all those scary $2 million plus contracts memorized just like Leafs fans do. Maybe his deal is in the drawer, maybe not. Signed a three by $4 million deal.
- Alex Formenton (Senators) is a promising forward who shouldn’t be seen as a lock for anything above line three.
- Alexander Romanov (Islanders) is not as good as Noah Dobson. Signed a three by $2.5 million deal.
- Nicolas Roy (Vegas) is a depth guy, still an RFA and just barely good enough to get grabbed on waivers, so he gets overplayed a little. Vegas sees Roy as a middle six player of great value, and they signed him for 5 by $3 million. What was I missing? He’s a big transition player with no personal defence or offence to speak of. Fits their style.
- Martin Necas (Hurricanes) isn’t as good as his team wishes he was, but he’s a valuable forward. Signed for two by $3 million.
- Keegan Kolesar (Vegas) should be a tweener. and like Roy, gets played because he’s cheap. He has an arbitration hearing on August 10 and might stop being cheap. Oops. He just signed for three by $1.4 million, so they better hope he’s really ready.
- Jason Robertson (Stars) is just amazing and if they lock him up to term now, it will pay out in the long term.
- Filip Zadina (Red Wings) is Czech Martin Necas (yes, I know, it’s a joke you see...).
- Ryan McLeod (Oilers) is a tweener still.
- Pavel Zacha (Bruins) is Czech... okay, never mind, but there’s an interesting similarity here with all three of these high picks who just haven’t blossomed. Zacha is likely the best and has an arbitration hearing on August 11. Signed a one by $3.5 million deal with the Bruins.
- Kirby Dach (Canadiens) is not Czech, but you’d expect him to be by his stat line. Injuries make him a mystery.
- Mason Appleton (Jets) is the kind of guy you should just lock up to a good deal because he’s a good depth player of a hard to find type and he’ll never win an arb case because he doesn’t score much. And yet here he is going to arbitration on August 11. Signed three by $2.17 million.
- Philipp Kurashev (Chicago) is a mystery because Chicago isn’t really a team, and he would never have two seasons in the can on any other team. Signed for one by $750,000 (one-way).
- Lawson Crouse (Coyotes) is a useful forward who has been overused for years. He takes his career high in points to arbitration on August 8. Signed a five by $4.3 million.
- Sean Durzi (Kings) is the one that got away, it seems. But will he crack the Kings lineup as they improve?
- Noah Gregor (Sharks) is a forward who can make the Sharks. Signed a one by $950,000 one-way deal.
- Barrett Hayton (Coyotes) is someone his fans say, “he’s young yet,” about.
- Michael Anderson (Kings) is Joey’s brother and he goes by Mikey.
- Erik Brännström (Senators) is ... what exactly? Not really any different to Liljegren and Sandin, or a pale copy of the above? I’m not sure.
- Nicolas Hague (Vegas) is more of the same as a defender who seems to be on the cusp of ... something.
- Caleb Jones (Chicago) was acquired as a lure to his brother. Can you imagine how that feels? Signed a one by $1.35 million.
- Jake Walman (Red Wings) is a player I’ve genuinely never heard of. His arbitration hearing is August 11. Signed a one by $1.05 million.
- Rasmus Sandin (Leafs) sigh.
- Jake Oettinger (Stars) is a goalie with less than 100 starts, and I don’t blame the Stars for not hurrying to sign him.
- Kieffer Bellows (Islanders) is being agonizingly slowly eased into the NHL, and likely won’t get a big contract because of it. Lou’s cap management 101. Signed a one by $1.2 million deal.
- Jonah Gadjovich (Sharks) is on the Sharks, sorry, but you might make the Sharks, so I can’t really have an opinion on him.
- Jake Leschyshyn (Vegas) played 41 games last year because that’s how Vegas manages the cap. Signed a three by minimum every year which gives and AAV of $766,667.
- Tyler Benson (Oilers) played 29 games and has two points. I don’t even know how that happens in the 21st century. He’s a forward. The Oilers have restored my faith in humanity by re-signing this guy to a two-way, minimum deal.
- Adam Ruzicka (Flames) is a tweener.
Honourable mention goes to Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen who didn’t make the games cut do to injury, but he’s likely the best Sabres goalie. Bafflement goes to Maxime Lajoie, who elected arbitration on 5 NHL games played and a good performance in the AHL. Signed see comments.