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Top 2021-22 NHL All-UFA Team: Landeskog, Hall, Hamilton, More

The Unrestricted Free Agent pool is loaded with talent this year. Here’s what an all-UFA team would look like.

2021 is a big year for Unrestricted Free Agents in the NHL. With names like Taylor Hall (again), Dougie Hamilton, and Gabriel Landeskog, there’s potential for teams to add several key pieces and make the jump to the next level. Some of these players will inevitably stay where they are. Others will move on. Some will be signed for bigger deals than expected, some will take discounts.

For no other reason than personal interest, I’ve put together a new team: The 2021 All-UFA Team. The lines aren’t necessarily based on chemistry, but rather the highest-skilled players from each position. Of course, this is just my opinion, so it’s certainly up for debate. Join the coversation on Twitter; let us know if you would add/change anything.

Related: Corey Perry Not Ready to Retire, Wants to Return to Canadiens

I did not include players who are fully expected to either stay with their same team or retire, such as Alex Ovechkin, Tuukka Rask, and Pekka Rinne. I also moved some Left-Wingers to the right, as the righties were a little sparce.

So, without further ado, here is your 2021 All-UFA Team:

LW-Gabriel LandeskogC-Phillip DanaultRW-Joel Armia
LW-Taylor HallC-David KrejciRW-Jaden Schwartz
LW – Zach HymanC-Blake ColemanRW-Kyle Palmieri
LW-Brandon SaadC – Joe ThorntonRW-Barclay Goodrow
LD-Ryan MurrayRD-Dougie Hamilton
LD-Alec MartinezRD-Neal Pionk
LD-Jamie OleksiakRD-Tyson Barrie
G-Philipp Grubauer
G- Frederik Andersen
F-Marcus Johansson D-David SavardG-Antti Raanta

Honourable Mentions:

Forwards- Paul Stastny, Patrick Marleau, Corey Perry, Eric Staal, Travis Zajac, Nick Foligno, Tomas Tatar

Defensemen– Adam Larsson, Zdeno Chara, Alex Goligoski, Nick Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, Ian Cole, Brandon Montour, Sami Vatanen

Goalies– Devan Dubnyk, Mike Smith, James Reimer, Petr Mrazek, Jonathan Bernier

Once again, these are just my opinions as to the top Unrestricted Free Agents at each position. At any rate, the market is packed with high-end talent with lots of stars looking for new homes.

What to Expect From the UFA Market This Year

We’ll likely see a few players sign long-term, low-dollar contracts, such as the 8-year, $41-million contract signed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins less than two weeks ago. Nugent-Hopkins’ contract guarantees that he will receive the full $41 million, effectively making it “Buyout-Proof”. We can expect to see lots of similar contracts in the near future, as everyone wants to guarantee their long-term wealth in these uncertain times. It’s also likely that we see lots of contract with big signing bonuses: once again, to guarantee that the player receives as much of that money as possible in the event that they don’t play the full term of their contract. Nugent-Hopkins’ contract gave him $5.75 million up front.

Could Landeskog sign a similar deal in NHL free agency to what Nugent-Hopkins did in Edmonton

Here’s what’s crazy with this little Free Agency exercise I’ve done: If this were a real NHL team, it would be in contention for the Stanley Cup. It’s possible for teams to add several top-tier players- several game-changers. Even if a team missed the playoffs last year, Free Agency could make them contenders this year.

Free Agency begins on July 28th, shortly after both the Expansion Draft and the Entry Draft. Rosters around the league will be changing rapidly throughout the month of July, so get out your popcorn and kick back in your recliner- it’s going to be a show!

Next: Jack Eichel Says It’d Be ‘Pretty Cool’ to Play for the Boston Bruins



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