CHN Takes a Look at the Remaining 5 RFAs

Scott Bonin
Complete Hockey News

  TOM SZCZERBOWSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS, Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports, Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

TOM SZCZERBOWSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS, Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports, Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

1)    William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs

Nylander is reportedly looking for around $8 million per season, which seems unrealistic, while the Maple Leafs are looking at a much more realistic $6 million per season. Nylander is 22 and coming off back-to-back 61 point seasons, which is no small feat, even if those numbers may have been inflated a bit by playing with Auston Matthews.

Lets look at some comparisons. 

Sean Monahan – 7-years, $6.375 million AAV – Coming off a 62 and 63 point season
Nathan MacKinnon – 7-years, $6.3 million AAV – Coming off a 63 and 38 point season
Nikolaj Ehlers – 7-years, $6 million AAV – Coming off a 38 and 64 point season
Mark Scheifele – 8-years, $6.125 million AAV – Coming off a 49 and 61 point season 
Dylan Larkin – 5-year, $6.1 million AAV – Coming off a 32 and 63 point season 


Conclusion: Nylander should probably take the Maple Leafs offer, probably around $6.5 million on a long term deal. $8 million is a bit much. Term wise it should be between 5 and 7 years. If Nylander is extremely confident in himself he takes shorter term, but it would be in everyone’s best interest to go long term.

2)    Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres

Reinhart is basically William Nylander but with Jack Eichel instead of Auston Mattews to play with, which apparently translates to about ten less points per season. Reinhart is coming off a 47 and 50 point season. 

Lets look at some comparisons. 

All the ones above, -$500,000. 

Conclusion: This one should be easy. $5.5 million to $6 million is they are feeling confident and call it a day. Should be at least a 5-year deal, preferably 7 if you are the club. 

3)    Miles Wood, New Jersey Devils

Wood is one-year older and has about half as many points as Nylander and Reinhart. He is coming off a 17 and 32 point season, which was considering his breakout year. Even if he continues to progress he will be hard pressed to hit the 50-point mark. 

Lets look at some comparisons.

Ondrej Kase – 3-years, $2.6 million AAV – Coming off a 15 and 38 point season. 
Andre Burakovsky – 2-years, $3 million AAV – Coming off a 38 and 35 point season.
Connor Brown – 3-years, $2.1 million AAV - Coming off a 6 and 36 point season. 
Radek Faksa – 3-years, $2.2 million AAV – Coming off a 26 and 33 point season. 
Calle Jarnkrok – 6-years, $2 million AAV - Coming off a 18 and 30 point season.

Conclusion: He should probably take a 2-3 year bridge deal with an AAV of $2.5 million. I would not suggest going the Jarnkrok route unless you have little confidence in your ability to improve. Call it a day and eat some pickles with Coleman.  

4)    Nick Ritchie, Anaheim Ducks

Ritchie is similar to Wood as he put up 28 and 27 point seasons coming into this year. The difference is that Ritchie came out stronger and then didn’t improve. That being said, the comparable should be similar. 

Lets look at some comparisons.

See Above: Not too far above though, don’t pass Wood, for god sakes don’t pass Wood. 

Conclusion: Do your bridge deal and go home. Quite frankly it should not have gotten this far to begin with. 2-3 year, $2-$2.5 million, eat some pickles with Wood and Coleman.  

5)    Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights

The lone defensive holdout for this seasons UFA’s Shea Theodore’s comparables go a whole lot clearer in the last 24-hours. Though out of the three RFA defencemen that were on the table he is the closest to that long term, bigger money contract they all seek. 

Lets look at some comparisons… only two needed. 

Darnell Nurse – 2-years, $3.2 million AAV
Josh Morrissey – 2-years, $3.15 million AAV

Conclusion: If Theodore was asking for more than a 2-year bridge deal that was worth more than $3.5 million, he should probably just pack it in.