Free agent frenzy came early this year, with details leaking out on many of the top names a day early. Teams are not supposed to actually discuss specific financials, but cap hits and terms have poured out all evening. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet tried to summarize all of the day’s leaks and also reported some new information on a few names. One of those is Joonas Donskoi, who is still expected to sign with the Colorado Avalanche for an average annual value between $3-4MM. Friedman doesn’t give a suggestion on the term of the deal.
Donskoi ranked 21st on our list of the Top 50 UFAs after a quietly effective campaign, where we projected him to sign a three-year, $9.6MM deal with the Avalanche. The former San Jose Sharks forward may be able to outperform even that if given a bigger role in Colorado alongside some of their other talented forwards. Some other notes on pending free agents:
- Tyler Myers and Jordie Benn are both expected to sign with the Vancouver Canucks according to Friedman, though obviously nothing is finalized until tomorrow afternoon. Myers has been linked to the Canucks for some time and may very well challenge for the biggest contract given out to a defenseman tomorrow. Benn meanwhile is also coming off a career season and has set himself up for a nice payday, though it shouldn’t come close to the money handed out to Myers. Vancouver allowed Derrick Pouliot and Ben Hutton to hit the market by not issuing them qualifying offers, and apparently have already found some veteran replacements.
- The league-wide game of goalie musical chairs continues, with Friedman suggesting that Semyon Varlamov could be heading to the New York Islanders. The Islanders have been unable to come to terms with pending free agent netminder Robin Lehner despite his outstanding season, and since it looks like they missed out on Sergei Bobrovsky as well they needed an established goaltender to come in and help Thomas Greiss next season. No details on what Varlamov will be signing have emerged yet, but we projected just a two-year, $6.5MM deal for him in our ranking.