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free agency

Laine, Marner, Rantanen among top unsigned restricted free agents

Connor, Point, Tkachuk also among those waiting for contract or offer sheet

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

With free agency underway, NHL.com takes a closer look at the top remaining restricted free agents.

A restricted free agent can receive an offer sheet contract from another team, which forward Sebastian Aho did from the Montreal Canadiens on July 1. His team can match the contract (which the Carolina Hurricanes did with Aho) 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 NHL season.

 

[RELATED: Best remaining unrestricted free agents | NHL Free Agent Tracker]

 

Here are the significant remaining RFAs (listed alphabetically by position):

 

Forwards

Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks

The Fourth Period reported July 2 that Boeser and the Canucks had not started negotiations. The 22-year-old had 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games with the Canucks after he was second among NHL rookies with 29 goals and fifth with 55 points in 62 games in 2017-18, when he finished second in voting for the Calder Trophy (awarded to the NHL rookie of the year) behind Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders. Boeser, who has 116 points (59 goals, 57 assists) in 140 NHL games, is not eligible to sign an offer sheet because he played fewer than 10 games his first NHL season (2016-17).

 

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 last season, after leading NHL rookies with 31 goals in 2017-18. Connor has 128 points (67 goals, 61 assists) in 178 NHL games and 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

 

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets

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

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

 

Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto said this week it is prepared and well situated if Marner receives an offer sheet. The 22-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (26), assists (68), points (94) and plus/minus (plus-22) in 82 games last season, ranking fourth in the League in assists and 11th in points. Marner had more goals, assists and points than the previous season in each of the past two, his second and third in the NHL.

 

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning

Point and the Lightning have been in contact regarding a contract, and Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois said June 29 that he is confident a deal will get done this offseason. The 23-year-old had a breakout season with NHL career highs in goals (41), assists (51), points (92) and rating (plus-27) in 79 games. 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). Point tied for sixth in the NHL in goals and 12th in points.

 

Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche

He had NHL career highs in goals (31), assists (56) and points (87) in 74 games last season, and was highly effective on the power play (16 goals, 33 points). Rantanen had more goals, assists and points than the previous season in each of the past three (he was held without a point in nine games in 2015-16), and the 22-year-old was the second-leading scorer for the Avalanche behind center Nathan MacKinnon (99 points; 41 goals, 58 assists) in 2018-19. Rantanen has 209 points (80 goals, 129 assists) in 239 NHL games.

 

Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames

Calgary GM Brad Treliving said July 1 the Flames plan to re-sign Tkachuk. In his third season, Tkachuk had NHL career highs in goals (34), assists (43) and points (77) in 80 games. The 21-year-old had 28 more points (including seven more on the power play) than he did in 2017-18. Tkachuk has 174 points (71 goals, 103 assists) in 224 NHL games.

 

Defensemen

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

Boston GM Don Sweeney said June 29 that the Bruins plan to have McAvoy playing before the Dec. 1 deadline. The 21-year-old had 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 54 games last season and eight points (two goals, six assists) in 23 playoff games. He led Boston in average 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 NHL games and 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 41 playoff games. He is not eligible to sign an offer sheet because he played fewer than 10 games his first NHL season (2016-17).

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

 

Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia GM Chuck Fletcher said June 26 that the Flyers and Provorov were not close to a contract. Provorov had 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists), 149 blocked shots and 123 hits in 82 games last season. The 22-year-old, who ranked sixth in the NHL in average ice time per game (25:07), has 97 points (30 goals, 67 assists) in 246 NHL 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 games last season and six points (one goal, five assists) in 10 playoff games. Werenski was a finalist for the Calder 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 NHL games.

 

Goalies

David Rittich, Calgary Flames

The 26-year-old was 27-9-5 with a 2.61 GAA, a .911 save percentage and one shutout in 45 games (42 starts) with the Flames but did not play in the postseason. Rittich is 35-15-8 with a 2.70 GAA, a .909 save percentage and one shutout in 67 games (58 starts). Calgary this week signed goalie Cam Talbot, and Mike Smith left the Flames to sign with the Edmonton Oilers.

 

Other notable restricted free agents: Linus Ullmark, G, BUF; Will Butcher, D, NJD; Pavel Buchnevich, F, NYR; Joel Edmundson, D, STL

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