Which RFAs still need to sign?
With the off-season in full swing, one thing that has constantly plagued the minds and timelines of hockey fans alike is the Restricted Free Agent (RFA) question. Countless emerging stars within the league are nearing the end of their rookie tenures and with an unprecedented shift towards a younger, more skilled and faster version of the game, these emerging stars are commanding future contracts never before seen en masse to this high a level. Here are all of the major players within the RFA game.
Despite the chance to command unprecedented contracts, the following notable players – whether they had arbitration rights or not – managed to strike a deal with their respective clubs.
Sebastian Aho – Carolina Hurricanes, Forward (LW)
One of the most notable signings already stricken from the list is Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes. Aho’s deal hit headlines due to his involvement in a rare (albeit incredibly disappointing) offer sheet placed by the Montréal Canadiens (the first offer sheet in the league since the 2013 season). The Hurricanes easily matched this and locked up Aho for an Average Annual Value (AAV) of $8.45 million and a contract tenure that will see him through until his UFA status kicks in at the end of the 2023-24 season.
Jordan Binnington – St Louis Blues, Goaltender
Goaltender Jordan Binnington is another notable RFA signing this offseason. Binnington was a crucial part of the St Louis Blues’ overall success during the latter half of the 2018-19 season. More importantly, the goaltender was instrumental in bringing the first Stanley Cup back to St Louis, eventually beating the Boston Bruins 4 games to 3. With a two year contract of $4.4 million AAV, the Blues have managed to set a reasonable price for the goaltender without a long-term commitment. Meanwhile, Binnington received a nice payout and a contract that will carry him towards UFA status.
Jacob Trouba – New York Rangers, Defenseman
Defenseman Jacob Trouba re-signed with the New York Rangers on a seven year, $56 million contract. The contract consists of roughly an $8 million AAV, with $22 million in signing bonuses. The seven-year signing secures Trouba’s tenure with the Rangers until the 2026-27 season, where he will become a UFA. Securing him on the blue line was vital for the Rangers this offseason and with the pieces they have already amassed – including second overall pick Kaapo Kakko – the Rangers will be looking to return to playoff form after a rebuilding period.
Timo Meier – San Jose Sharks, Forward (LW)
The San Jose Sharks forward and former 1st round pick (9th overall in 2015) Timo Meier signed a four-year deal to stay with the club. The $24 million contract sees Meier with a $6 million AAV (approx) and $8.6 million amassed in signing bonuses throughout the tenure. In 78 starts last season, Meier, 22, amassed 30 goals and 36 assists for a total of 66 points.
Nikita Gusev – New Jersey Devils, Forward (LW)
The New Jersey Devils signed Nikita Gusev to a two year, $9 million contract ($4.5 million AAV). He was previously linked to the Vegas Golden Knights but did not suit up for them as he remained in his native Russia to play in the KHL. In 62 starts for SKA Saint Petersburg, the left-winger managed to amass 17 goals and 65 assists for a total of 82 points. Whilst the contract may not be the largest of the offseason, it could prove to be the most effective if Gusev’s transition to the North American game pans out and he turns into the relatively competent forward he is projected to be.
The following players have yet to negotiate contracts with their respective clubs.
- Jesse Puljujarvi, Forward (RW), Edmonton Oilers
- Patrik Laine, Forward (RW), Winnipeg Jets
- Zach Werenski, Defenseman, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Kyle Connor, Forward (LW), Winnipeg Jets
- Matthew Tkachuk, Forward (LW), Calgary Flames
- Mitch Marner, Forward (RW), Toronto Maple Leafs
- Ivan Provorov, Defenseman, Philadelphia Flyers
- Mikko Rantanen, Forward (RW), Colorado Avalanche
- Kevin Fiala, Forward (LW), Minnesota Wild
- Julius Honka, Defenseman, Dallas Stars
- Charlie McAvoy, Defenseman, Boston Bruins
- Travis Konecny, Forward (C), Philadelphia Flyers
- Brock Boeser, Forward (RW), Vancouver Canucks
- Brayden Point, Forward (C), Tampa Bay Lightning
- Adrian Kempe, Forward (LW), Los Angeles Kings
- Pavel Zacha, Forward (C), New Jersey Devils
- Brandon Carlo, Defenseman, Boston Bruins
Discuss this article and more in the Overtime Heroics Forums!