What will the new NHL salary cap look like this season and who will get more ice time?
As always, we’re counting down the top 30 NHL free agents who could make an impact for their respective teams this year.
ForwardsTop-line center Ryan O’Reilly (7 years, $82 million) and center Nicklas Backstrom (5 years, €60 million) have both earned more than $3 million per year in their respective contracts, with O’Reily’s $3.5 million cap hit and Backstrom’s $5.5.
O’Reilly has already earned his way into a top-five role in the NHL.
He is the team’s third leading scorer and top scorer with 59 points (20 goals, 35 assists) in 61 games this season, and has already led the league in assists with 42 and power-play goals with 24.
Backstrom has also made strides, playing in all 82 games in 2017-18 and leading the team with 12 goals and 12 assists.
Top defensemanZach Werenski (6 years, £37 million) is the NHL’s top defenseman and is already in the top 20 in scoring with 39 points (12 goals, 26 assists).
Werenskis success with the Avalanche this season is tied to his ability to play the shutdown defensive position.
He has been solid in that role with four goals and nine assists in 21 games.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time Norris Trophy winner was traded to Colorado on July 1.
Derek Roy (4 years, ‘$3.1 million) has been an integral piece to the Dallas Stars success this season.
He leads the team in points with 46, and is tied for second in the league with a plus-21 rating.
In his first season in Dallas, Roy has scored at least 20 goals in six of the past seven seasons.
He and captain Jamie Benn are also in the middle of a three-way tie for the team lead in scoring this season with 23 goals and 16 assists.
DefensemanAlexander Radulov (4.5 years) is one of the NHLs top defensemen and has been a fixture on the Dallas defensive corps this season after leading the league last season with 56 points (13 goals, 33 assists).
He is tied with Mike Ribeiro for the league lead in points and has helped the Stars win five straight games.
The top goaltendersMatt Duchene (5.1 years) and Braden Holtby (4) are also among the league leaders in wins.
Duchene has played in all but three of the team�s games this year and has also started all of Dallas�s home games this campaign.
Holtby has had a rough go of it, having missed four games during the NHL�s shortened season with a broken foot, but he is playing a crucial role for the Colorado Avalanche this year, and his performance has helped Colorado earn a playoff spot.
The bottom lineTop forwardsPatrick Kane (5 seasons, $70 million) ranks second on the NHL in points, while Corey Perry (5) and Ryan Kesler (4 seasons, £50 million) are both among the top defenseman on their respective clubs.
Kane has scored 42 goals and 36 assists, while Perry has been in the lineup for all four of his team�ls games.
Perry has also been a dominant player for the Anaheim Ducks in the playoffs, recording a franchise-best 30 goals and 48 assists.
The NHL is expected to announce its top 25 free agents on July 31, with the season starting on Aug. 15.