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Top restricted free agents this offseason

Marner, Laine, McAvoy, Binnington among best

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

With free agency about to begin, NHL.com takes a closer look at the top restricted free agents available when the market opens July 1.

A restricted free agent can receive an offer sheet contract from another team. His team can match the contract or receive draft-pick compensation based on its value. Any restricted free agent who does not sign by Dec. 1 cannot play for the remainder of the season.

 

[RELATED: Top free agent forwardsTop free agent defensemenTop free agent goalies]

 

Forwards

Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs

The 22-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (26), assists (68) and points (94) and was plus-22 in 82 regular-season games, ranking fourth in assists in the League and 11th in points. Marner has increased his goals, assists and points totals in each of the past two seasons.

Video: TOR@BOS, Gm1: Marner scores after hitting both posts

Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche

He had NHL career highs with 31 goals, 56 assists and 87 points in 74 games with the Avalanche and was highly effective on the power play (16 goals, 33 points). Rantanen has increased his goals, assists and points production in each of the past two seasons and the 22-year-old was the second-leading scorer for the Avalanche this season behind center Nathan MacKinnon (99 points; 41 goals, 58 assists). He has 209 points (80 goals, 129 assists) in 239 regular-season games.

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning

The 23-year-old had a breakout season with NHL career highs in goals (41) assists (51) and points (92) and was plus-27 in 79 regular-season games with the Lightning. Point finished tied for second on the Lightning in goals with Steven Stamkos, four behind Nikita Kucherov, and his 92 points were third behind Kucherov (128) and Stamkos (98). He tied for sixth in the League in goals and 12th in points.

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets

He had one of the best goal-scoring months in NHL history with 18 in 12 games in November, but only had nine the rest of the season, including one in the final 19 games of the regular season to finish with 30. The 21-year-old forward had 50 points (30 goals, 20 assists) in 82 games with the Jets, each the lowest totals of his three-year NHL career. However, he's scored at least 30 goals in each of his three NHL seasons (44 in 2017-18, 36 in 2016-17) and has 184 points (110 goals, 74 assists) in 237 regular-season games.

Video: STL@WPG, Gm2: Laine blasts one-timer past Binnington

Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes

The 21-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (30), assists (53) and points (83) and led the Hurricanes in goals and points in 82 regular-season games. He also led them with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 15 playoff games. Aho has 197 points (83 goals, 114 assists) in 242 regular-season games and has scored at least 24 goals in each of his three NHL seasons.

Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames

In his third NHL season, Tkachuk had career highs in goals (34), assists (43) and points (77) in 80 games with the Flames. The 21-year-old had 28 more points, including seven more on the power play this season than he did in 2017-18. Tkachuk has 174 points (71 goals, 103 assists) in 224 regular-season games.

Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks

He had 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games with the Canucks after finishing second among NHL rookies with 29 goals and fifth with 55 points in 62 games in 2017-18 when he finished second in Calder Trophy voting. The 22-year-old has 116 points (59 goals, 57 assists) in 140 regular-season games. Boeser is not eligible to sign an offer sheet because he played fewer than 10 games his rookie season. 

Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks

The 22-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (30), assists (36) and points (66) in 78 regular-season games with the Sharks and 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 20 playoff games. Meier has increased his scoring totals, plus-minus and shots on goal in each of the past two seasons and has 108 points (54 goals, 54 assists) in 193 regular-season games.

Video: STL@SJS, Gm1: Meier dekes to backhand for great goal

Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets

The 22-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (34), assists (32) and points (66) in 82 games with the Jets, one season after he led rookies with 31 goals in 2017-18. Connor has 128 points (67 goals, 61 assists) in 178 regular-season games and 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 23 playoff games.

Kevin Labanc, San Jose Sharks

He had NHL career highs in goals (17), assists (39) and points (56) in 82 regular-season games with the Sharks and nine points (four goals, five assists) in 20 playoff games. The 23-year-old who was a sixth-round pick (No. 171) in the 2014 NHL Draft has 116 points (36 goals, 80 assists) in 214 regular-season games.

Ryan Donato, Minnesota Wild

He had 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 56 games with the Wild and Bruins last season, including 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 22 games after he was traded to Minnesota with a draft pick for forward Charlie Coyle on Feb. 20. The 23-year-old has 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in 68 regular-season games.

Jakub Vrana, Washington Capitals

The 23-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (24), assists (23) and points (47) and was plus-20 in 82 regular-season games with the Capitals. Vrana has 80 points (40 goals, 40 assists) in 176 regular-season games and won the Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018.

Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers

He had an NHL career-high 49 points (24 goals, 25 assists) in 82 games with the Flyers and tied his high in goals.The 22-year-old has missed one games the past two seasons and has 124 points (59 goals, 65 assists) in 233 regular-season games.

 

Defensemen

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

The 21-year-old had 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 54 regular-season games with the Bruins and eight points (two goals, six assists) in 23 playoff games. He led Boston in total ice time per game in the regular season (22:10) and playoffs (24:30), when they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games. McAvoy has 60 points (14 goals, 46 assists) in 117 regular-season games and 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 41 playoff games. McAvoy is not eligible to sign an offer sheet because he played fewer than 10 games his rookie season.  

Video: STL@BOS, Gm1: McAvoy rips shot by Binnington for PPG

Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers

He had 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists), 149 blocked shots and 123 hits in 82 games with the Flyers. The 22-year-old who ranked sixth in ice-time per game (25:07) this season has 97 points (30 goals, 67 assists) in 246 regular-season games and hasn't missed a game in his NHL career.

Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets

The 21-year-old had 44 points (11 goals, 33 assists) in 82 regular-season games with the Blue Jackets and six points (one goal, five assists) in 10 playoff games. Werenski was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2015-16 when he had 47 points (11 goals, 36 assists) and was plus-17 in 78 games. He has 128 points (38 goals, 90 assists) in 237 regular-season games.

Jacob Trouba, New York Rangers

Acquired by New York in a trade with Winnipeg on June 17, the 25-year-old had NHL career highs in assists (42) and points (50) with the Jets after he was awarded a one-year, $5.5 million contract in arbitration prior to this season. He was sixth in the League in blocks (171) and is an excellent puck-moving defenseman who can run the power-play and has 179 points (42 goals, 137 assists) in 408 regular-season games.

 

Goalies

Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues

The 25-year-old set the rookie record for Stanley Cup Playoff wins, going 16-10 with a 2.46 GAA, .914 save percentage and one shutout in 26 games to help the Blues win the Cup for the first time in their history. Binnington, who was a finalist for the Calder Trophy given to the NHL rookie of the year, was 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and five shutouts in 32 regular-season games (30 starts) after making his first NHL start Jan. 7. St. Louis went 29-9-5 after that date, climbing from last in the NHL standings.

Video: STL@BOS, Gm7: Binnington dazzles in Game 7 victory

David Rittich, Calgary Flames

The 26-year-old was 27-9-5 with a 2.61 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and one shutout in 45 games (42 starts) with the Flames and did not play in the postseason. Rittich is 35-15-8 with a 2.70 GAA, .909 save percentage and one shutout in 67 games (58 starts).

Other notable restricted free agents: Linus Ullmark, G, BUF; Alexander Kerfoot, F, COL; Nikita Zadorov, D, COL; Joonas Korpisalo, G, CBJ; Will Butcher, D, NJD; Pavel Buchnevich, F, NYR; Cody Ceci, D, OTT; Joel Edmundson, D, STL; Andre Burakovsky, F, COL

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