The first wave of NHL Free Agency has come and gone with it being just over a week since the chaos began on July 13th. Even though players went off the board left and right since the beginning, there are still plenty of good options looking for teams to sign them. The trade market has been active recently, with the biggest move being Matthew Tkachuk being traded from the Flames to the Panthers. Wave two of NHL Free Agency also looks to be very active soon as we move along in the offseason.
(Note: Forward Patrice Bergeron did not make the list due to him stating that if he’s not a Boston Bruin for the 2022-23 season, he’s retiring from the NHL.)
2022 NHL Free Agency: Top UFA’s Still Available
Nazem Kadri (Center)
After helping lead the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup since 2001, you would think Nazem Kadri would be one of the first off the board but that’s not the case. It was said through Kadri’s camp that he would listen to all offers and find the right landing spot. After getting the taste of winning, he wants to play for a contender, and that includes having interest in going back to Colorado (not likely). All eyes are on Kadri as we get further and further into the offseason.
One month ago. The most important goal that Nazem Kadri has ever scored. pic.twitter.com/hQ2RAlvy8i
— Avalanche Forever (@citchmook) July 22, 2022
John Klingberg (Defenseman)
After contracts talks stalled between the Dallas Stars and John Klingberg this past season, it was reported that the 29-year-old expressed frustration, and a potential trade at the deadline was a possibility. He stayed put in Dallas and now we sit just over a week removed from the start of NHL Free Agency with the blueliner still without a team. With Kris Letang signing back with Pittsburgh, Klingberg is now the top defenseman on the market after a six-goal, 41 assist season in 2021-22.
Phil Kessel (Right Wing)
At 34 years of age, Phil Kessel isn’t producing the numbers he use to but he’s still a 50-point player. Last season, he scored just eight goals but tallied 44 assists for a struggling Arizona Coyotes team. The 16-year veteran has shown that he’s a playmaker and can still show his worth on the power play. Kessel also still has something to play for on a personnel level as he is the owner of the longest active Ironman streak in the league with 982 consecutive games played. When he signs with another team and plays the first eight games of the 2022-23 season, he’ll pass Keith Yandle‘s mark for the most all-time at 989.
Paul Stastny (Center)
Paul Stastny is getting older as well at age 36 but he’s shown he can still produce and contribute to a team that needs it. Last season, he put together his best campaign since 2017-18 as he scored 21 goals and nearly had a 50-point season. Even though Stastny is getting up in age, his hockey IQ is still high and can play a smart two-way game for a contending team that needs depth down the middle.
Evan Rodrigues (Center)
With 19 goals and 24 assists for Pittsburgh in 2021-22, Evan Rodrigues might’ve raised his stock a little heading into the market this offseason. Even though he is still unsigned, the versatile center is an underrated option that can help a team with depth whether it’s down the middle or on the wing. Rodrigues surprised everyone with what he did this past season and looks to be a solid option for anyone that needs a two-way player coming off of a career year.
Other Available UFA’s
Danton Heinen (Left/Right Wing)
P.K. Subban (Defenseman)
Ryan Donato (Center)
Sonny Milano (Left/Right Wing)
Calvin de Haan (Defenseman)
Johan Larsson (Defenseman)
Tyler Motte (Center)