2020 NHL Free Agents

Our editors have identified relevant NHL players at each position who can become unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2020. Taylor HallNicklas Backstrom, Torey Krug, and Braden Holtby are all among the most valuable players in a contract year. In this article, we go over those who can make the biggest difference for whoever signs them.

Forwards

Taylor Hall, Left Wing, Arizona Coyotes

Nicklas Backstrom, Centerman, Washington Capitals

Evgenii Dadonov, Right Wing, Florida Panthers

Mike Hoffman, Left Wing, Florida Panthers

Zack Kassian, Right Wing, Edmonton Oilers

Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Centerman, Ottawa Senators

Tyler Toffoli, Right Wing, Los Angeles Kings

Chris Kreider, Left Wing, New York Rangers

Erik Haula, Centerman/Left Wing, Carolina Hurricanes

Mikael Granlund, Centerman/Left Wing/Right Wing, Nashville Predators

Alex Galchenyuk, Centerman/Left Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins

Defensemen

Torey Krug, Boston Bruins

Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues

Tyson Barrie, Toronto Maple Leafs

Kevin Shattenkirk, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jake Muzzin, Toronto Maple Leafs

Erik Gustafsson, Chicago Blackhawks

Sami Vatanen, New Jersey Devils

Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

Goalies

Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders

Jaroslav Halak, Boston Bruins

Pavel Francouz, Colorado Avalanche

Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks

Robin Lehner, Chicago Blackhawks

Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers

Latest Speculation:

© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall scored a goal on four shots and was plus-2 in Sunday’s 5-2 win over Detroit. It was his first goal for the Coyotes, who acquired the 2018 Hart Trophy winner on December 16 for prospects Nick Merkley, Nate Schnarr, Kevin Bahl, a 2020 first-round pick and a conditional third-round pick in 2021.

Hall was able to find the net just under six minutes into the third period. He’s now reached the scoresheet in each of his first three games with the Coyotes, having picked up an assist in each of his first two contests.

He has had his offensive struggles since his MVP season but the change of scenery seems to be what he needed to unlock the form that allowed him to have 39 goals and 93 points in 2017-18.

The Coyotes have scored 13 goals in the three games since they acquired Hall and the team that signs him next season will be a great choice for NHL picks on the total, moneyline and puck line.

Nicklas Backstrom doing his next contract by himself. Washington Capitals cap crunch.
© Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Nicklas Backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom doesn’t want to go anywhere. He is in the final season of the 10-year, $67 million contract he originally signed on May 17, 2010 and if both his team and him have their way, they will sign a new contract before July 1.

This is what Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan said on November 26: “We want back. He’s a big part of our organization and we’re going to do whatever we can to get him back.” As for Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, he has predicted that Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin will retire as Capitals.

Backstrom, who is negotiating a new contract without an agent, has stated several times that he would like to stay with the team. “I love it here. I love the fans. I love everything about being in this city,” Backstrom said. “I would like to stay, yeah. So hopefully we’ll come up with a solution,” he recently said.

Last Thursday he appeared in an interview on DC101’s Elliot In The Morning and shared an update on his contract negotiations while pointing out that he wants to retire in Washington.

“Honestly, we haven’t really talked that much,” Backstrom said. “As I said before, I want to be a Capital for life. I love this team. I love this city. This is home for me. Obviously I would like to get it done but you know there are situations about the salary cap. But I have no intention of going anywhere. If we can get it done, that would be really great and I’d be super proud to represent the Caps for my whole career.”

The 32-year-old also pointed out that Alex Ovechkin is the best line-mate he’s ever had. “Absolutely. Not even close,” he said.

Last Friday he hit the 900-point mark milestone in the 6-3 win against the Devils. It was also his 900th career game with Alex Ovechkin and he put up four points (two goals and two assists) to lead the Capitals.

“It’s great actually,” Backstrom said after the game. “I wasn’t expecting that but sometimes it happens. It’s fun being a part of this organization for this long. For playing with such a great player like Alex, it’s very fortunate on my side. You need to enjoy every moment.”

The talented Centerman is now the second Capitals player and seventh Swedish player ever to hit the 900-point plateau.