Ranking the NHL's top pending UFAs

Gregg Forwerck / National Hockey League / Getty

While several pending unrestricted free agents have already found homes before the frenzy begins Wednesday at noon ET, there's still a large group of intriguing players up for grabs. Below, we rank the best of the bunch:

1. Dougie Hamilton

Position: RD
Age: 28
2020-21 cap hit: $5.75M
Last team: Hurricanes

GP G A ATOI xGF%
55 10 32 22:43 56.5

True No. 1 defensemen in their prime like Hamilton rarely hit the open market. When they do, they get paid handsomely (see Pietrangelo, Alex).

2. Gabriel Landeskog

Position: LW
Age: 28
2020-21 cap hit: $5.57M
Last team: Avalanche

The longtime Avs captain is a premier two-way winger with all sorts of intangibles, although there are questions about how Landeskog's physical game will age over the duration of a long-term deal.

3. Alex Ovechkin

Position: LW
Age: 35
2020-21 cap hit: $9.54M
Last team: Capitals

Nothing to see here. Ovechkin is seemingly a lock to re-sign in Washington.

4. Blake Coleman

Position: LW/RW
Age: 29
2020-21 cap hit: $1.8M
Last team: Lightning

GP G A ATOI xGF%
55 14 17 15:28 58.1

An excellent defensive forward who's played at a 20-goal pace for three straight seasons, Coleman is set for a massive raise.

5. Alec Martinez

David Becker / National Hockey League / Getty

Position: LD/RD
Age: 33
2020-21 cap hit: $4M
Last team: Golden Knights

Martinez, a reliable two-way defender with playoff pedigree coming off a career-best offensive season, will be a tempting add for any contender needing help on the back end.

6. Phillip Danault

Position: C
Age: 28
2020-21 cap hit: $3.08M
Last team: Canadiens

GP G A ATOI xGF%
53 5 18 16:52 57.6

Centers are always in demand during free agency. Danault, one of the game's elite shutdown pivots, will be no different despite his offensive limitations.

7. Philipp Grubauer

Position: G
Age: 29
2020-21 cap hit: $3.33M
Last team: Avalanche

GP GAA SV% SO GSAx
40 1.95 .922 7 4.3

Grubauer was a Vezina Trophy finalist this past season. However, his goals saved above expected (GSAx) indicates a solid yet unspectacular netminder who was propped up by an excellent team in front of him.

8. Ryan Suter

Position: LD
Age: 36
2020-21 cap hit: $7.54M
Last team: Wild

GP G A ATOI xGF%
56 3 16 22:11 52.7

Suter's buyout was much more surprising than teammate Zach Parise's. The veteran blue-liner can still be a serviceable No. 4 defenseman.

9. Linus Ullmark

Position: G
Age: 27
2020-21 cap hit: $2.6M
Last team: Sabres

GP GAA SV% SO GSAx
20 2.63 .917 0 -2.3

Ullmark has posted stellar numbers on bad Buffalo teams. He'll be appealing to clubs around the league given his age.

10. David Krejci

Steve Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

Position: C
Age: 35
2020-21 cap hit: $7.25M
Last team: Bruins

GP G A ATOI xGF%
51 8 36 17:08 58.1

Even in his mid-30s, Krejci is still a defensively reliable, playmaking second-line center. It's hard to envision him leaving Boston, though.

11. Tuukka Rask

Position: G
Age: 34
2020-21 cap hit: $7M
Last team: Bruins

GP GAA SV% SO GSAx
24 2.28 .913 2 -1.2

Rask has said before that he'll retire before playing for an NHL team other than the Bruins, so don't expect him to leave Beantown.

12. Jaden Schwartz

Position: LW
Age: 29
2020-21 cap hit: $5.35M
Last team: Blues

GP G A ATOI xGF%
40 8 13 17:42 49.2

Schwartz is coming off his second down year in the last three seasons, but he's registered 55-plus points five times. There should be a strong market for the two-way winger.

13. Tyson Barrie

Position: RD
Age: 29
2020-21 cap hit: $3.75M
Last team: Oilers

GP G A ATOI xGF%
56 8 40 21:24 48.5

Barrie led all NHL defensemen in points this past season, but he didn't receive any Norris Trophy votes. That's telling how much of a defensive liability he is.

14. Jake McCabe

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Position: LD
Age: 27
2020-21 cap hit: $2.85M
Last team: Sabres

GP G A ATOI xGF%
13 1 2 19:11 62

McCabe battled injuries last season - which prevented the Sabres from trading him at the deadline - but he's posted superb defensive metrics in a shutdown role over the last few years.

15. Brandon Saad

Position: LW/RW
Age: 28
2020-21 cap hit: $6M
Last team: Avalanche

GP G A ATOI xGF%
44 15 9 14:06 56.7

A north-south winger with playoff pedigree and a goal-scoring touch, Saad won't have any difficulty finding a home.

16. Tomas Tatar

Position: LW
Age: 30
2020-21 cap hit: $5.3M
Last team: Canadiens

GP G A ATOI xGF%
50 10 20 14:59 58.9

Tatar has been a healthy scratch for the majority of two Stanley Cup Final runs over the last four years. He's been a consistent offensive producer during the regular season, but he may need to take a one-year prove-it deal to rebuild his value.

17. Pius Suter

Position: C/LW
Age: 25
2020-21 cap hit: $925K
Last team: Blackhawks

GP G A P xGF%
55 14 13 16:20 47.8

It's quite a mystery why the Blackhawks decided not to tender Suter a qualifying offer. He's coming off a stellar rookie campaign, most of which he spent on Patrick Kane's line. His youth and speed will surely draw plenty of interest.

18. Mikael Granlund

Position: C/LW/RW
Age: 29
2020-21 cap hit: $3.75M
Last team: Predators

GP G A ATOI xGF%
51 13 14 19:28 47.8

Granlund can play center in a pinch, but his most productive seasons have come as a complementary winger.

19. Mike Reilly

Position: LD
Age: 28
2020-21 cap hit: $1.5M
Last team: Bruins

Reilly is a strong skater who came into his own this season and solidified himself as a capable No. 4 defenseman.

20. Petr Mrazek

Gregg Forwerck / National Hockey League / Getty

Position: G
Age: 29
2020-21 cap hit: $3.13M
Last team: Hurricanes

GP GAA SV% SO GSAx
12 2.06 .923 3 10.7

Which version of Mrazek will a team get? He was excellent in a limited sample size when healthy in 2020-21, but his track record in the four years prior is spotty (.905 SV%, -17.1 GSAx).

21. Frederik Andersen

Position: G
Age: 31
2020-21 cap hit: $5M
Last team: Maple Leafs

GP GAA SV% SO GSAx
24 2.96 .895 0 -11.2

Andersen carries similar risks to Mrazek. He was excellent his first three seasons in Toronto (.918 SV%, 37.5 GSAx), but he's struggled mightily over the last two campaigns (.905 SV%, -21.5 GSAx). Can Andersen regain his old form?

22. Alexander Edler

Position: LD/RD
Age: 35
2020-21 cap hit: $6M
Last team: Canucks

GP G A ATOI xGF%
52 0 8 20:54 46.5

After spending 15 years with the Canucks, Edler has said he'll test the open market. The 6-foot-3 Swede isn't the offensive threat he used to be, but he's still sound defensively and could help a contending team as a No. 4/5 defenseman.

23. Nick Bonino

Position: C
Age: 33
2020-21 cap hit: $4.1M
Last team: Wild

GP G A ATOI xGF%
55 10 16 14:51 51.6

Bonino isn't the sexiest name available. However, centers are few and far between, and he's posted strong underlying results over the last couple of seasons.

24. Alexander Wennberg

Eliot J. Schechter / National Hockey League / Getty

Position: C
Age: 26
2020-21 cap hit: $2.25M
Last team: Panthers

GP G A ATOI xGF%
56 17 12 18:10 50.3

Wennberg entered 2020-21 as a career 8% shooter, and then he converted at a 20.7% clip. His age and position will make him enticing to teams, but banking on a repeat season could prove costly.

25. Ryan Murray

Position: LD
Age: 27
2020-21 cap hit: $4.6M
Last team: Devils

GP G A ATOI xGF%
48 0 14 18:37 46.5

The 2012 No. 2 pick hasn't lived up to the hype and has been slowed by injuries in the past, but Murray's still a serviceable No. 5 blue-liner.

26. Nick Ritchie

Position: LW
Age: 25
2020-21 cap hit: $1.5M
Last team: Bruins

GP G A ATOI xGF%
56 15 11 15:22 52.2

The Bruins' decision to non-tendered Ritchie was quite surprising since his qualifying offer would've been only $2 million. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound winger doesn't skate all that well, but he's not afraid to throw his weight around and has good hands in front of the net.

27. Ondrej Kase

Position: RW
Age: 25
2020-21 cap hit: $2.6M
Last team: Bruins

GP G A ATOI xGF%
3 0 0 8:30 63.4

Concussions have derailed Kase's once-promising career, but the former 20-goal scorer could be an interesting buy-low option if healthy.

28. Kyle Palmieri

Position: RW/LW
Age: 30
2020-21 cap hit: $4.65M
Last team: Islanders

GP G A ATOI xGF%
51 10 11 16:34 49.9

Palmieri showed serious signs of decline this past season, although a career-low 8.7% shooting percentage didn't help. He can still serve as a complementary middle-six winger, but his days driving his own line are likely over.

29. Casey Cizikas

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Position: C
Age: 30
2020-21 cap hit: $3.35M
Last team: Islanders

GP G A ATOI xGF%
56 7 7 13:50 47.3

Cizikas carried the best fourth line in hockey alongside Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck on Long Island. He has obvious offensive limitations, but he could serve as a shutdown third-line center.

30. Mike Hoffman

Position: LW/RW
Age: 31
2020-21 cap hit: $4M
Last team: Blues

GP G A ATOI xGF%
52 17 19 15:04 41.7

Hoffman possesses an elite shot and is a legitimate one-time power-play threat, but he's a total liability at five-on-five.

31. Ryan Getzlaf

Position: C
Age: 36
2020-21 cap hit: $8.25M
Last team: Ducks

GP G A ATOI xGF%
48 5 12 16:35 49.6

Getzlaf's career-worst season was probably related in part to his own decline, as well as the horrendous team around him. He may want to finish his career in Anaheim, but he could be a helpful veteran in a lesser role on a contending team.

(Analytics source: Natural Stat Trick, Evolving-Hockey)
(Cap source: CapFriendly)

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