The NHL free agent signing period began Wednesday at noon ET. NHL.com takes a closer look at the top restricted free agents (listed in alphabetical order).
Most restricted free agents can receive an offer sheet from another team. His team can match the offer sheet or receive draft-pick compensation based on its value. Note: Kirill Kaprizov and Quinn Hughes are not eligible to receive an offer sheet from another team and are not included on this list.
Kevin Fiala, Minnesota Wild
Fiala scored 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) in 50 regular-season games, and two points (one goal, one assist) in seven playoff games. The 24-year-old has scored at least 20 goals in each of his first two full seasons with the Wild and 101 points (46 goals, 55 assists) in 133 games since he was traded to Minnesota by the Nashville Predators on Feb. 25, 2019.
Sam Reinhart, Florida Panthers
The 25-year-old was traded to the Panthers by the Buffalo Sabres on July 24 for goalie prospect Devon Levi and a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He led the Sabres in goals (25) and points (40) in 54 games this season. Selected by Buffalo in the first round (No. 2) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Reinhart has scored 295 points (134 goals, 161 assists) in 454 NHL games.
Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes
The 21-year-old scored 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in 55 regular-season games and eight points (two goals, six assists) in 11 playoff games. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft had NHL career-highs in goals (24), assists (37) and points (61) in 68 games during his second season in 2019-20, shortened due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators
Tkachuk scored 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 56 games, 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in his final 14. The No. 4 pick in the 2018 draft, the 21-year-old has scored 125 points (60 goals, 65 assists) in 198 regular-season games.
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
The 22-year-old scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 26 games, 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his final 14 games before a hyperextended wrist sidelined him for the final 30. The No. 5 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Pettersson expects to be fully healthy in time for the start of next season. He won the Calder Trophy in 2019 and has scored 153 points (65 goals, 88 assists) in 165 NHL games.
Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres
Dahlin scored 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in 56 games. The 21-year-old led the Sabres and ranked 15th among NHL defensemen with an average of 20:15 of ice time per game at even strength from April 6 until the end of the season and scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists), best among Buffalo defensemen in that span. The No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft has scored 107 points (18 goals, 89 assists) in 197 games. He scored 44 points (nine goals, 35 assists) in 2018-19 and finished third in Calder Trophy voting.
Neal Pionk, Winnipeg Jets
The 25-year-old scored 32 points (three goals, 29 assists) in 54 regular-season games and had four assists in eight playoff games. Pionk played an average of 21:58 per game, second on the Jets to defenseman Josh Morrissey (23:33), and 26:00 per game in the playoffs, third on Winnipeg. He scored an NHL career-high 45 points (six goals, 39 assists) and 25 power-play points (three goals, 22 assists) in 71 games for the Jets in 2019-20, his first full season with Winnipeg after his trade from the Rangers for defenseman Jacob Trouba on June 17, 2019.
Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers
Hart was 9-11-5 with a 3.67 goals-against average, an .877 save percentage and one shutout in 27 games (25 starts), and did not play after April 15 because of a sprained MCL in his left knee. The 22-year-old’s GAA was the highest and save percentage was the lowest among the 32 goalies to play at least 25 games, a drop from the 2.42 GAA and .914 save percentage in his second NHL season. He’s 49-37-9 with a 2.88 GAA, a .905 save percentage and two shutouts in 101 regular-season games (95 starts), and 9-5 with a 2.23 GAA, a .926 save percentage and two shutouts in 14 playoff games.
Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals
Samsonov was 13-4-1 with a 2.69 GAA, a .902 save percentage and two shutouts in 19 games (18 starts) during a season that included two stints in NHL COVID-19 protocol. Though the 24-year-old was 0-3 with a 2.99 GAA and an .899 save percentage in three playoff games, he returned with little practice time and made 40 saves in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup First Round before a miscommunication with Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz led to the winning goal in a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Boston Bruins. Samsonov is 29-10-3 with a 2.61 GAA, a .908 save percentage and three shutouts in 45 regular-season games (40 starts).
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
The Predators believed Saros could be their No. 1 goalie and the 26-year-old proved them right by helping Nashville finish the regular season with a 20-7-1 run to clinch the No. 4 seed in the eight-team Discover Central Division. Saros was 18-6-1 with a 1.88 GAA, a .941 save percentage and three shutouts beginning with a 2-1 win against the Blue Jackets on Feb. 27. His 21 wins, 2.28 GAA and .927 save percentage were NHL career bests. He was 2-4 with a 2.78 GAA and .921 save percentage in a six-game loss to the Hurricanes in the first round, including a combined 110 saves on 117 shots to win Games 3 and 4.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
The 25-year-old completed his first full NHL season as the heir apparent to Henrik Lundqvist in New York and was 16-14-3 with a 2.62 GAA, a .916 save percentage and two shutouts in 35 games (31 starts). Shesterkin was third in games played, tied with Kaapo Kahkonen of the Wild for third in wins, fourth in save percentage and fifth in GAA among rookie goalies to play at least 10 games.
Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders
Sorokin was 13-6-3 with a 2.17 GAA, a .918 save percentage and three shutouts in 22 games (21 starts) but proved during the playoffs he was worth the wait for the Islanders after six seasons playing in his native Russia. The 25-year-old allowed nine goals on 159 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, including a 48-save performance in Game 5 and 34 saves in Game 6 to win the best-of-7 series, becoming the first Islanders goalie to win each of his first four playoff games and the 10th in NHL history to do it. He was 4-1 with a 2.79 GAA and .922 save percentage in seven playoff games (five starts) to help New York reach the Stanley Cup Semifinals.