NHL Rumors: Top 20 UFA candidates for a training camp PTO
In today’s NHL Rumors, we start to take a closer look at some potential PTO (Professional Tryout) candidates teams may consider inviting to their training camps come September.
Let’s first start with explaining what is a PTO. It’s a contract that teams can offer unsigned free agents in order to participate at training camp. This gives them a closer look at a potential free agent they may want to sign.
Updated: August 11
NHL Rumors: Top UFA candidates
The biggest unsigned free agent available is Patrick Kane, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery and will not be ready until December or January to return. Even if he was healthy, the 34 year-old future hall-of-fame player doesn’t fit the bill for a PTO.
Usually, PTO’s are for depth players and stars that are past their prime. However, this season we see several young players not given their qualifying offers on this list. Here are the top 20 candidates this offseason sorted by age.
|Martin Jones (signed with Leafs)||33||G||$2,000,000|
|Pius Suter (signed with Canucks)||27||F||$3,250,000|
|Caleb Jones (signed with Hurricanes)||26||D||$1,350,000|
A PTO Deep Dive
Immediately, several youngsters on that list stand out for teams looking to take a chance on a player with upside. Anyone looking to rebuild or improve their blue-line could take a long look at Caleb Jones or Ethan Bear. Up front, Maxime Comtois may be worth the risk as well.
A deeper dive into the more traditional names on this list includes two goalies that are sure to be playing next season in Jaroslav Halak and Martin Jones. As far as veterans that most certainly could help a contender’s bottom-six forward group on low-cost one-year deals are Phil Kessel, Wayne Simmonds, and Paul Stastny.
There are also three names I think could be signed to a standard contract before training camps open. Tomas Tatar, Josh Bailey, and Tyler Motte would be excellent additions for any team.
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