Connect with us


The Top Five Forwards of Free Agency

Should they stay or should they go?

The Stanley Cup Finals may be over, but the action looks to keep going strong in the NHL as we head into the offseason. Sure, it may not be as exciting as watching Connor McDavid and Matthew Tkachuk battle for Lord Stanley, but big shakeups across the league should be coming soon as a very talented crop of free agents find their new homes after the 2024 NHL Draft. With teams looking to bring in a big piece that could help them go the distance next season, the free agency period is a crucial one for general managers all over the league.

Today, we’re looking at the five best forwards on the board and where they might end up once Free Agency gets underway.

1 – Sam Reinhart 

Most people think that Reinhart will stay in Florida, but it won’t be cheap for the champs to get a deal done. The West Vancouver native is coming off a career year in which he put up 57 goals and 94 points, both of which are career highs. Since coming to Florida, Reinhart has played a large role in the Panthers’ success and the team certainly would not be the same without him next season. The organization currently has ten free agents and just under $20 million in cap space to work with, but Reinhart is certainly the first name that should be coming up in their conversations. If Florida feels like the price is too high, I expect every team in the NHL that has the money to be reaching out to Reinhart’s camp.

2 – Jake Guentzel 

Although the Hurricanes came up short in the postseason once again, Jake Guentzel was still one of the best mid-season acquisitions of last year. Guentzel is nearly a point-per-game player over 500 career outings and fit in exceptionally well with his new team in the spring, putting up 25 points in 17 games after the move. He may not have a 57-goal campaign under his belt, but many could argue he’s been more consistent than Reinhart throughout his career and deserves just as much money this offseason. He’s also a guy who’s proven his game in the postseason. It looks like Carolina won’t be resigning, and I fully expect a contending team to scoop him up early on in the Free Agency period. 

3 – Steven Stamkos

Stammer may have turned 34 earlier this year, but his production over the last three seasons shows a guy that’s refusing to slow down. With over 1100 career points, two Stanley Cup rings, and four trips to the Finals in his resume, it’s no wonder talks with Tampa Bay haven’t been easy. This is a guy who still probably deserves to be paid a lot of money, but unfortunately, his age may be working against him at this point. It would be weird to see him with another jersey on, but unless things change in Tampa fairly quickly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen. If it does come out that he’s going to test the Free Agency market, I expect his agent will be a VERY busy man. 

4 – Elias Lindholm

After an underwhelming start to his time in Vancouver, Elias Lindholm revived his Free Agency stock with a great postseason for the Canucks. He may not put up the gaudiest numbers, but Lindholm’s presence is felt all over the ice. He can produce the points, but he’s also a great player defensively. Vancouver reportedly would have loved to keep him around, but with too many other players to sign and a possible bid on Guentzel coming in, the two sides were never going to make it work money-wise. He may not be the ideal first line center that he was in Calgary anymore, but he’ll still be worth the price for a lot of teams looking to round out their top six with a guy who can play a great 200-foot game. Hello, Boston. 

5 – Jonathan Marchessault

With the Golden Knights up near the cap ceiling already, it looks like Jonathan Marchessault may be starting the 2024/25 season in a new city. The 33-year-old is the same age as Stamkos but has a lot less tread on his tires in the NHL and is still setting career highs. Just last year, he led Vegas with 42 goals and 69 points. Of course, it’s tough to say that he’ll certainly be able to keep that kind of production up on a new team, but if the price is right, Marchessault is certainly worth a swing for a team in need of a top six winger. He’s a smaller guy that can get under opponents’ skin and to the right areas of the ice, and as a Conn Smythe winner in 2023, he’s proven to be a big game performer. 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in Hockey