And then there were ten. After Cayden Primeau inked his deal yesterday, there are now ten restricted free agents who have not yet signed contracts for next season. These players must be signed by December 1, or they will not be eligible to play in the NHL at all.
Jason Robertson, the young Dallas Stars forward, leads the way as the most impressive name, though many others represent key players for their respective teams.
The Los Angeles Kings, for instance, have two young defensemen on the list who each showed last season that they could be big parts of the future. Michael Anderson and Sean Durzi were each key in the team’s playoff run, with the former averaging more than 20 minutes a night during the regular season.
Arizona’s Barrett Hayton is a bit of a headscratcher, given how much cap space the team has, but his development has been anything but normal to this point, so it fits the pattern. The 22-year-old forward has played in 94 games at the NHL level and just 35 in the minor leagues since he was selected fifth overall in 2018.
The full list is:
Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vegas Golden Knights
Several of these players are likely already signed, with teams only waiting to clear additional cap space before officially filing the deals. Others may end up missing part of training camp or even the regular season, as they try to work out the best contract for the present and the future.