NHL News: Top restricted free agents inking new deals

Today’s NHL news follows up on the latest restricted free agent signings, including Jeremy Swayman, Ryan McLeod, Trent Frederic, and Filip Gustavsson. Meanwhile, in Anaheim, Troy Terry asks for an eye-popping raise. 

Whether you are into the latest trade buzz, signing news, and more, stick with The Daily Goal Horn.

An arbitrator awards Jeremy Swayman a significant pay increase with Bruins

The Boston Bruins were busy handing out new contracts over the previous two days, with goalie Jeremy Swayman earning a $3.475 million contract during his arbitration meeting on Sunday. As a co-winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy with veteran Linus Ullmark last season, Swayman (24-6-4) got a significant pay increase over his previous entry-level deal, which paid him $950k annually. 

Interestingly, this new deal is for one season, and Swayman will become a restricted free agent again in the summer of 2024. Considering that Ullmark will only have a season left on his deal at that time, if Swayman has another productive season, general manager Don Sweeney may have to think long-term and ink the Alaskan native to a lengthy extension. 

Thus far, in 88 career games, he’s 54-23-7, with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. 

Ryan McLeod inks new deal with Oilers before arbitration meeting

draisaitl snaps at reporter
Jan 5, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) and forward Ryan McLeod (71) react after an empty net goal by the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers re-signed one of the last remaining restricted free agents, agreeing to terms with Ryan McLeod on a two-year contract valued at $4.2 million. Furthermore, the two sides came to terms just days before McLeod’s scheduled arbitration hearing on Friday. 

As one of the Oilers’ essential bottom six players, McLeod had a career year in 2022-23 with 23 points, hitting double digits in goals (11) and assists (23) with a plus-four rating. Ultimately, after signing a one-year deal in Sept. 2022 worth $798k to stay with the club, he responded well and showed he could be a key contributor in a lineup featuring the game’s two best players. 

Bruins agree to a two-year pact with Trent Frederic

As mentioned, the Bruins were busy inking their last two restricted free agents, Swayman and Trent Frederic, to new deals. Luckily, unlike with Swayman, the Bruins and Frederic agreed to a two-year deal worth $4.6 million. 

After posting career highs in goals (17), assists (14), and points (31) in 2022-23, the final year of his entry deal, Frederic proved that he could be a key contributor on a Stanley Cup contender. Considering the Bruins are now thin at the center position, there’s a chance the 25-year-old plays a little more than his average 11:55 a game in 2023-24. 

Wild rewarded Filip Gustavsson for brilliant work last season

On late Monday afternoon, one of the most high-profile restricted free agent netminders, Filip Gustavson, came to terms on a new contract with the Minnesota Wild. Although he’s been on an entry-level salary for six years, the Swedish native has only played 66 games in NHL since 2020. 

After struggling with the Ottawa Senators for two years, he came to Minnesota last summer, and his performance (22-9-7) in 2022-23 ranked amongst the best by all goalies. Thanks to a microscopic 2.10 GAA and .930 SV%, Gustavsson cashed in on a three-year deal worth $11.25 million, paying him $3.7 million annually. If he captures a Vezina Trophy soon, his contract will be considered one of the best in the business. 

Troy Terry’s arbitration filing ruffling feathers in Anaheim

The Anaheim Ducks have not been legitimate contenders for close to a decade and, because of that, built a solid young core through the draft. One of those key players is Troy Terry, a one-time 30-goal scorer who has netted at least 60 points in the last two seasons.

As a restricted free agent, he will get a significant raise from his entry-level salary of $925k. Interestingly, on Monday, Terry asked the Ducks for $8 million, while they countered with $4.5 million, leaving the two sides widely apart in negotiations. Hopefully, for the sake of the rebuild, the two sides can agree on a new contract before their arbitration hearing on Wednesday. 

Thus far, in 274 games over six seasons (all with Anaheim), the 25-year-old has 75 goals, 101 assists, and 176 points.