Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2018

Top 50 pending UFAs: 40-31

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With July 1 less than two months away, theScore takes a look at the top 50 pending unrestricted free agents heading into the start of free agency.

10-1 | 20-11 | 30-21 | 40-31 | 50-41

Stats Legend:
GV = Giveaways
TK = Takeaways
ATOI = Average time on ice per game
CF% = Percentage of shot attempts team took while player was on ice at even strength
(Rel) = CF% of player compared to when he’s not on the ice

40. Mark Letestu

Position: Center
Age on July 1: 33
2017-18 cap hit: $1.8M
2017-18 teams: Oilers/Blue Jackets

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
80 9 14 23 20 19 12:51 49.0 (-3.3)

Had Letestu hit the open market a year ago, he would’ve been in for a decent payday coming off a career-high 16-goal (11 of which came on the power play) season. However, he was unable to replicate that success, and will likely have to take a one-year deal.

39. Leo Komarov


Position: Left wing
Age on July 1: 31
2017-18 cap hit: $2.95M
2017-18 team: Maple Leafs

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
74 7 12 19 42 47 15:47 44.8 (-6.7)

After scoring 33 goals the previous two seasons, Komarov’s offense tailed off in 2017-18. He was even gifted a chance on Toronto’s second line for the bulk of the season, but failed to capitalize. If the scoring touch returns, he can be an effective top-nine forward. Otherwise, the physical agitator is just a fourth-liner.

38. Toby Enstrom

Position: Defense
Age on July 1: 33
2017-18 cap hit: $5.75M
2017-18 team: Jets

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
43 1 5 6 31 3 17:02 52.2(+3.7)

Since his days as a 50-point D-man anchoring the Atlanta Thrashers’ blue line, Enstrom has dealt with a lot of injuries, and he’s failed to recapture his offensive magic. However, a team in need of a puck-moving rearguard will take a chance on him in hopes he can find his old form.

37. Thomas Hickey


Position: Defense
Age on July 1: 29
2017-18 cap hit: $2.2M
2017-18 team: Islanders

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
69 5 20 25 60 14 18:04 47.7 (+0.4)

Hickey’s 0.36 points per game was a career high, but the fact he played the sixth-most minutes on average among the Islanders’ defense and still led the team’s blue line in giveaways indicates he was part of the problem on a historically bad defensive team.

36. Nick Holden

Position: Defense
Age on July 1: 31
2017-18 cap hit: $1.65M
2017-18 teams: Rangers/Bruins

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
73 4 13 17 39 26 19:00 47.4 (-1.1)

The well-traveled, physical blue-liner can play big minutes if paired alongside a stud (like Marc Methot to Erik Karlsson), but he’s probably better-suited to more of a sheltered role similar to the one he had with the Bruins. The versatile D-man could receive a multi-year deal.

35. Tomas Plekanec

Position: Center
Age on July 1: 35
2017-18 cap hit: $6M
2017-18 teams: Canadiens/Maple Leafs

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
77 6 20 26 51 29 15:08 50.9 (-0.7)

Plekanec struggled in the regular season with the Leafs after being acquired from the Canadiens at the deadline, but he stepped up his game in the playoffs, recording two goals and two helpers in seven games, and showing he can still be a matchup center with the right linemates. Returning to Montreal seems like his most likely outcome.

34. Tim Schaller

Position: Left wing
Age on July 1: 27
2017-18 cap hit: $775K
2017-18 team: Bruins

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
82 12 10 22 25 31 13:17 50.4 (-3.7)

Schaller was a part of one of the league’s better fourth lines in Boston, and given his age, there’s reason to believe he could excel if given an expanded role elsewhere.

33. Michal Kempny


Position: Defense
Age on July 1: 27
2017-18 cap hit: $900K
2017-18 teams: Blackhawks/Capitals

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
53 3 7 10 41 9 15:55 51.5 (+0.3)

Kempny’s stats don’t jump off the page, but he’s boosted his free-agent value with a nice playoff run thus far with the Capitals. He’s played top-four minutes alongside John Carlson, helping neutralize the likes of Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel (the Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen pairing drew the Sidney Crosby matchup more often than not).

32. Brandon Manning

Position: Defense
Age on July 1: 28
2017-18 cap hit: $975K
2017-18 team: Flyers

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
65 7 12 19 34 17 17:57 50.0 (+0.9)

With younger, highly-touted defensemen coming through the Flyers’ system, a return to Philadelphia seems unlikely for Manning. He’s best-suited as a bottom-pairing blue-liner, but it’s possible the best year of his career lies ahead considering he’s only played three full NHL seasons.

31. Matt Calvert

Position: Left wing
Age on July 1: 28
2017-18 cap hit: $2.2M
2017-18 team: Blue Jackets

GP G A P GV TK ATOI CF% (rel)
69 9 15 24 15 28 13:23 47.9 (-4.6)

Calvert has averaged 14 goals per season in his career over an 82-game average. His biggest problem has been staying healthy, as he has only played 70 games in a season once. Nonetheless, he’s a player a coach can trust defensively and he’ll chip in offensively, making him a fit on any team looking for forward depth.

(Salary information courtesy: Cap Friendly)
(Stats courtesy: Hockey Reference)
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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