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Looking ahead to the NHL's 2025 class of UFAs

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The 2024 pool of unrestricted free agents dried up in a flash, and with hardly anything left to look forward to this offseason, it's time to start thinking about next year's crop of players. Spoiler: it's stacked.

Extensions between now and next July 1 will likely take most off these names off the board, but it's fun to dream of a free-agent frenzy with some of the league's biggest stars on the market.

Players listed in each position group by 2023-24 point totals


Leon Draisaitl: The Oilers will do everything in their power to keep Draisaitl, but it will be a delicate process for whoever takes over Edmonton's GM chair. While Draisaitl deserves to be one of the league's richest players, Connor McDavid's negotiations are around the corner, too.

Mikko Rantanen: It's difficult to imagine the Avalanche letting their second-best forward walk. Nathan MacKinnon's $12.6-million cap hit likely represents Colorado's maximum offer, but if Rantanen wants to stay in Denver, a deal between the two sides should be easily accomplished.

Sidney Crosby: Sid the Kid hasn't penned a new deal since 2012, and he's still pushing 100-point seasons at 36 years old. As exciting as the Crosby sweepstakes would be, keeping the band together in Pittsburgh has been his strategy all along, and it would be stunning to see him in another sweater.

Mitch Marner: A trade from Toronto seems unlikely at this point, but another playoff failure could make Marner's future with the Maple Leafs untenable. There will be a long list of teams vying for the star winger's services next summer if he leaves his hometown club for nothing.

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Brock Boeser: Boeser's fresh off a resurgent 40-goal season and may need to produce similarly in 2024-25 to earn an extension with the Canucks. Another cap spike could help Vancouver out, but the club already has several long-term commitments.

Carter Verhaeghe: Verhaeghe was a massive part of Florida's back-to-back playoff runs and would be an attractive add for 31 teams. However, after seeing the team-friendly deals Bill Zito was able to swing for Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell, retaining Verhaeghe on the cheap could be a walk in the park for the Panthers.

Travis Konecny: Konecny seems to perfectly fit the mold of John Tortorella's identity for the Flyers, and Philadelphia needs veterans to help steer the rebuild. He's a goal-scoring pest who plays all situations and will cash in no matter where he signs.

Brad Marchand: Bruins captains always seem to re-sign for pennies. Zdeno Chara passed the tradition down to Patrice Bergeron, and it'd be a shock if the trend didn't continue with Marchand.

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John Tavares: Tavares' time as an $11-million player is set to come to an end soon, and it will be interesting to see if he stays in Toronto. The Maple Leafs are short on center depth, and their captain's decline in production would become more palatable at a lesser cost.

Claude Giroux: Giroux will be 37 next summer but has produced seasons of 79 and 64 points since joining the Senators. Will he look to join a contender to chase the first Stanley Cup of his long career, or stay in Ottawa to help the club return to the playoffs?

Nikolaj Ehlers: The Jets may trade Ehlers this summer, but he'll be an intriguing option on the open market if he makes it there. The 28-year-old can skate like the wind and has elite offensive instincts.

Other notables: Jamie Benn, Gustav Nyquist, Brock Nelson, Patrick Kane, Sam Bennett


Brent Burns: Burns refuses to age. He notched 43 points while averaging more than 20 minutes per contest for the 10th consecutive season. It's unclear if the 2017 Norris Trophy winner wants to keep playing beyond 2025, but he still has game.

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Shea Theodore: Theodore will be the cream of the crop among blue-liners if he becomes available, which is a real possibility due to Vegas' perennial cap crunch. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is a bona fide top-pair defenseman with Stanley Cup pedigree.

Jakub Chychrun: One wouldn't blame Chychrun for trying to find some long-term security next summer after being traded again. Perhaps he finds a fit he likes in Washington, but he'd be highly coveted in free agency. Chychrun is only 26 and is a premier defender when healthy.

Neal Pionk: Right-handed defensemen always draw plenty of attention, and Pionk will be no exception if he doesn't re-up with the Winnipeg Jets. He's been a minute-muncher his entire career and can be consistently relied upon to produce 30-to-40 points.

Ivan Provorov: Provorov's stock has fallen in recent years, but he'll only be 28 next summer. He could be a worthwhile reclamation project in the right environment.

Other notables: Jake McCabe, Esa Lindell, Dmitry Orlov, Vladislav Gavrikov, Adam Larsson


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Igor Shesterkin: The Rangers would be crazy to let their backbone test the market, but we'd be remiss to exclude Shesterkin from our list. He's far and away the best goalie "available" and may come close to doubling his current $5.66-million cap hit on his next pact.

Linus Ullmark: Ullmark will be put to the test in Ottawa this season, as the Senators' playoff hopes rely squarely on improved goaltending. The 2023 Vezina winner's new club doesn't defend like the Bruins - at least not yet - so he'll need to prove his worth in a massive platform year.

Adin Hill: Injuries derailed Hill's first year as Vegas' No. 1, and time is quickly running out on the two-year prove-it deal he signed after winning the Stanley Cup. The Golden Knights are never afraid of bold decisions, but unless Hill completely falls off in 2024-25, it's hard to see Vegas letting him go.

Alexandar Georgiev: Georgiev has consistently been able to rack up wins behind Colorado but has posted a sub-.900 save percentage in two of his last three seasons. He'll need to find some consistency to earn trust from the Avalanche - or any other team - next summer.

Frederik Andersen: Andersen will soon be 35 and might be getting phased out of Carolina's crease by Pyotr Kochetkov. It's unlikely Andersen gets another long-term deal at this stage of his career, but he could be an attractive depth option if he chooses to continue playing after his current contract expires.

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