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2015 NHL Draft

With less salary-cap space than expected, NHL teams shift focus from draft to free agents

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 3:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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With less salary-cap space than expected, NHL teams shift focus from draft to free agents

PHILADELPHIA - NHL teams are about to go shopping, and they will have less money to spend than they might have thought just a few days ago.

After a weekend in which 210 players were drafted, clubs will have more decisions to make, and they don't have lots of time to do it. Free agency begins in earnest Tuesday, and any needs that weren't addressed during the two-day draft — either in picks or trades — will have to be taken care of on the open market.

The ceiling for next season's salary cap was set Friday at $69 million — up from $64.3 million. That number is a million or two lower than some projections had it after a year of record revenues.

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He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft