Mikkel Boedker’s name doesn’t quickly come up when discussing the top unrestricted free agents available but he is one of the more intriguing players on the market.
At just 26 years of age, Boedker is one of the youngest free agents on the market and the youngest of the impact (top six) forwards. It’s safe to say he’s entering the prime of his career which isn’t often the case when dealing with UFA’s. He also has the ability to play both wings, making him one of the more versatile players available.
Offensively, Boedker has shown signs of improvement the last several years. Over the past three seasons, he has passed the 50 point mark twice and played at a 50 point pace in an injury-riddled 2014-15 campaign. Last year, split between Arizona and Colorado, he picked up 17 goals and 34 assists in 80 games. That put him in a tie for fifth in points amongst all remaining UFA forwards.
On top of his improving offensive ability, Boedker’s speed is his biggest weapon. He’s one of the fastest skaters in the league and has the potential to be a big factor in transition wherever he winds up.
There are some concerns with his play though. He’s not the most consistent defensive player nor is it a particular strength of his. That limits where he can play in the lineup; for teams that run a two-way second line, he’s not really an option there nor is he strong enough to really be a top line player.
There haven’t been many teams linked to Boedker yet as most of the focus has been on the bigger names with a more proven track record. There should be no shortage of options as he’s young enough to be considered a core piece on rebuilding teams while being enough of an impact player.
Vancouver is the only team that has publicly been linked to him at this point. Other teams that could have varying degrees of interest are Toronto, Montreal, New Jersey, Buffalo, and Detroit among others. A return to Arizona is certainly a possibility as well. Those are all teams that have a young, emerging core that also have vacancies inside their top six.
Boedker is ranked eighth on our Top 50 list of free agents. We have him signing a 6 year, $31.5MM contract. He may be wise to wait for some of the bigger names to go as that should increase the number of suitors he has as they will likely circle to him as a fallback option.