Top 10 NHL UFA Goalies Heading Into This Summer
It is hard to believe but free agency is just about six months away. That’s right. Circle July 13th on your calendars as the unrestricted free agent frenzy begins. Some call it the crazy season. Some call it mostly finding “Fool’s Gold”. Either way, it is a fun time full of much intrigue, innuendo, and of course signings.
So, who are the top ten NHL Free Agent Goalies heading into this summer? There is some debate as far as rankings but hey, that is the fun part. Anyway, here at NHL Rumors, we give it the old college try. Let’s see what happens.
Top 10 Unrestricted Free Agent Goalies
10. Mikko Koskinen, Edmonton Oilers
Some argue the day Mikko Koskinen signed that three year deal in Edmonton, it signaled his eventual departure from the NHL. While that is up for some debate, the Oilers goalie will not make $4.5 million in his next deal. He may be 14-8-1 for Edmonton but that .899 save percentage is a bad sign.
Koskinen will be 34 going into the 2022-23 season and may attract a one-year show-me deal. Otherwise, he may go back overseas.
9. Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets
The Joonas Korpisalo Express seems to have stopped at its final destination in Columbus. There is ample talk he could get moved. Unlike the first two goalies on this list, Korpisalo has no restrictions. When he winds up an inevitable free agent this summer, teams will not be knocking on his door often.
Korpisalo, even at just 28 this summer, may get a one-year deal trying to catch on somewhere. That is the best-case scenario after a goals against of nearly four so far in Columbus this year.
8. Martin Jones, Philadelphia Flyers
The problem with Martin Jones is this. How does one gauge a goaltender on a team who has endured two streaks of ten or more losses? It’s a great question. Jones showed progress this season as he has just two really bad starts out of 16 (a RBS is a start with a save percentage of less than .850).
The 32-year old has an almost respectable .901 save percentage on a disaster of a Philadelphia team. Another team very well could sign him to a one-year deal for next season. He will be a backup once again.
7. Thomas Greiss, Detroit Red Wings
There is a real chance that Thomas Greiss goes back overseas next season. He does not play much in Detroit and has a measly 3.36 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage in 16 games played. Greiss will be 36-years old this weekend
Quite a few pundits believe that Europe is a far more likely destination than the NHL next season for Greiss.
6. Jaroslav Halak, Vancouver Canucks
Alas, Jaroslav Halak may be another goalie near the finish line when it comes to the NHL. He has not played poorly by any means. However, the soon-to-be 37-year old has appeared in just eight games while going 1-4-2. His .915 save percentage will attract some interest by NHL teams but more by Europe.
It is a coin flip whether Halak stays in North America or goes back overseas. His cap hit is $1.5 million currently. If he is willing to take a little less, he stays, If not, he goes.
5. Pavel Francouz, Colorado Avalanche
Every win by Darcy Kuemper impacts Pavel Francouz a little more. Despite that, Francouz has won six of his first seven starts since his return from injury and recovery. He sports a stellar 2.03 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. That makes him a nice insurance policy in case something happens to Kuemper.
Colorado may have a decision on their hands. Do they re-sign the goaltender as insurance? That feels like the going trend. As for years, Francouz could snag a multiple-year deal there or elsewhere.
4. Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks
It is safe to say that Marc-Andre Fleury has had one up and down season since agreeing to stay in Chicago. He is somehow over .500 at 14-13-3 with a solid 2.84 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He currently makes $7,000,000 and his next contract figures to be less.
Considering that he is 37 years old, the likely max is a one or two-year deal for the three-time Stanley Cup winner.
3. Braden Holtby, Dallas Stars
Give the Dallas goaltender credit as Braden Holtby landed in a nice spot for his talents. The Stars’ goaltender has inched above .500 and has a 2.60 goals-against average with a .917 save percentage.
The 32-year-old’s calling card may be his high-danger save percentage. That stands at .856 this season which is a career high. He could garner anywhere from a 1-3 year deal from Dallas or elsewhere.
2. Darcy Kuemper, Colorado Avalanche
Now, Darcy Kuemper is an interesting case. He plays well enough to be the future starting goaltender of the Colorado Avalanche for years to come. Kuemper looked much better in the past two months with a .923 save percentage and a more composed look to his game.
There are a few who question whether the soon to be 32 year old is the guy. The postseason will tell us what kind of contract he may attract in free agency.
1. Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs
The best goaltender in the bunch here is Jack Campbell. He has found himself the last two seasons in Toronto. Despite a brutal stretch of late, Campbell is still 20-6-3 this season with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. He has four shutouts and represents Toronto’s best chance of advancing past Round 1 in a long, long time.
At 30 years old, the goaltender could easily get a four- to six-year deal. Wherever he does sign, Campbell is getting paid. His cap hit is $1.65 million. That could easily triple or quadruple potentially.