Welcome to the DailyFaceoff UFA preview. Over the next 15 days, we’ll be profiling the top 30 players in this years UFA class, as listed by TSN. Contract information is from our friends at Puckpedia. Full UFA list via puckpedia here. Analytics provided by hockeyviz.com and naturalstattrick.com. Contract projections are done by evolving-hockey.com with the presumption contracts are signed between Aug. – Oct. 11 with different teams.
Today, we’re looking at the 24th ranked Wayne Simmonds, 23rd ranked Corey Crawford, 22nd ranked Travis Hamonic, 21st ranked Justin Braun, 20th ranked Corey Perry, 19th ranked Zdeno Chara, and 18th ranked Chris Tanev.
Wayne Simmonds is coming off the least productive year of his NHL career. In 68 games between New Jersey and Buffalo, Simmonds scored just eight goals and 25 points, well down from the 17 and 24 goals he scored in 2018-19 and 2017-18 respectively. While Simmonds isn’t the top-six power-forward he used to be, he can still be an effective bottom-six player who brings leadership and a physical element to the ice.
Contract projection: Three years, $3,474,000 AAV.
The Blackhawks have reportedly indicated that they intend to move on from Corey Crawford after 10 seasons and two Stanley Cups. Crawford posted a .917 save percentage while splitting the Hawks’ net with Robin Lehner last season but has missed a good chunk of time over the past few years due to injuries. He’s a very good goalie but durability is a concern.
Contract projection: Two years, $4,000,000 AAV.
Since being traded from the Islanders to Calgary back in 2017, Travis Hamonic’s offensive production has dropped fairly significantly. He topped out as a 30-point defender on the Island but produced 11, 19, and 12 points in three seasons with the Flames playing in a defensive role. Hamonic is a quality second-pair, shutdown defender, though injuries are a concern.
Contract projection: Five years, $5,211,000 AAV.
After nine seasons in San Jose, the Sharks moved the quietly effective Justin Braun to Philadelphia as a cap dump. The Flyers landed themselves a solid, veteran defenceman to help lead their young blueline who scored 19 points over 62 games while logging 17:16 per game. Braun is 33 years old but can still contribute as a defensively oriented, second-pair defenceman.
Contract projection: Two years, $2,782,000 AAV.
Despite being one of the best players in franchise history, Corey Perry’s time in Anaheim ended last summer when the Ducks bought out the remainder of his contract. Perry went on to sign a one-year deal with the Dallas Stars. He posted just 21 points in the regular season but added nine points during Dallas’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. Perry is obviously no longer a feared power-forward and scorer like he used to be, but he’s still an effective, pesky, depth contributor.
Contract projection: One year, $1,428,000 AAV.
Now 43 years old, Zdeno Chara is still chugging along. He was one of Boston’s top defenders last season, averaging 21:01 per game and producing a plus-26 rating. He scored just 14 points last season, but Chara can still be very effective in a defensive role. It’s difficult to imagine him anywhere other than Boston.
Contract projection: Three years, $4,330,000 AAV.
After 10 seasons in Vancouver, rugged defender Chris Tanev will have an opportunity to hit the open market this fall. Though he isn’t known for his offence, Tanev matched a career-high with 20 points this season while logging 19:32 per night on the Canucks’ second pair. The concern about Tanev is his issues with injuries. Between 2016 and 2019, he played 53, 42, and 55 games.
Contract projection: Three years, $3,286,000 AAV.