For part one of our look at UFAs for next season, we will look at the players available who might be considered in the lowest tier. I’ve broken the players into four separate tiers, with the fourth being replacement level or slightly above, tier three being above replacement level, tier two being solid top-nine forwards or top-six defencemen, and tier one being the cream of the crop. We will be focusing on 30 players in total, all at or below the age of 30.
Carpenter didn’t see any action in the playoffs with Vegas, so it might be an indication that they are moving on from him for next season if Erik Haula is healthy and/or Cody Glass is ready. Coming off his first one-way contract at $650,000, he is probably looking for a two or three-year one-way contract in July. He is a center who can win his fair share of face offs (52.6%), be physical (126 hits in 68 GP), and chip in with 15-25 points. He’s not going to break the bank for any team adding him in free agency.
After being bought out by Minnesota on June 30, 2018, on a five-year deal with an AAV of $4.6 million, Ennis was signed to the league minimum of $650,000 a week later. With 12 goals and six assists in 51 games and two more assists in five playoff games, he turned out to be a fairly good signing for Toronto. The question remains, will he be anything more than a replacement-level player on any other team? If I were a GM in the NHL, I’m not sure I would take a chance on a small offensive player on the fourth line who hasn’t put up more than 22 points in the past four seasons on anything more than another one-year deal.
Agostino got his first chance to stick in the NHL for more than a handful of games and was picked up on waivers by New Jersey, where he ended up playing 27 games and producing four goals and 9 assists, after putting up 11 points in 36 games with Montreal. The 26-year-old Yale graduate has proven he can score in the AHL and is looking for his first one-way NHL contract. He would be a good cheap addition for any team with very little risk.
The Bruins are set for a few years at center for the top three lines with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Charlie Coyle, and that leaves Acciari to center the fourth line if they re-sign him. He is a high-energy player who hits a lot (221 hits in 72 GP) and will chip in 15-20 points per year. Coming off a two-year contract with an AAV of $725k, he is probably looking for longer term and more money, and might not find it in Bosto