A realistic look at the top NHL free agents in 2021

Adam Gretz of NBC just released his power rankings of 2021 NHL unrestricted free agents for next season. At the top of his list is a player named Alex Ovechkin. Now while it is true that his current contract expires next summer, there is little to no possibility that happens.

The last word on the Caps Gre8t sniper is that he’s representing himself and both sides will get together when camp opens. There simply is no way he makes it to the UFA market.

Forecasting the top NHL free agents 2021

Taylor Hall: The 28 year-old winger signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres this offseason for $8 million. Next summer he will aim for the full 7 year term he couldn’t get in this COVID-19 climate.

Dougie Hamilton: The NHL loves to chase after top-end right-handed defenseman. You saw what Alex Pietrangelo was able to get in this economy, and that’s what 27 year-old Dougie will go after too. He will be expecting a serious increase over his $5.75 million AAV deal, so GM’s better save those dollars.

2021 NHL free agents
Dougie Hamilton (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Gabriel Landeskog: There’s always a market for power forwards and one’s with leadership skills to boot. The 27 year-old plays the game tough and physical, so wear and tear are a genuine concern. He’ll be coming off a deal that paid him $5.5 million AAV.

Jaden Schwartz: Guys who can play center are always valuable and 28 year-old Schwartz fits the bill. He has 60-65 point potential and plays a solid two-way game but is better suited on the wing. Depending on how he performs, he could be had to a similar AAV of $5.35 million.

Tyson Barrie: Similar to Taylor Hall, Barrie took a one year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Unlike Hall he took a lot less. If Barrie can have a big year on the power play with the likes of Connor McDavid, he could be in a for a big raise next summer.