Capped: Salary Predictions for the Top 200 Free Agent Skaters

Alexander MacLean

2020-07-16

This week’s Capped updates the salary projections for all of the relevant 2020 UFA and RFAs.

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After last week's article where I covered some thoughts on how to manage your cap team this offseason with the stagnant salary cap, this week we're going to stick with that same concept and look over salary projections for the top 200 skaters that can hit the free-agent market in the fall.

To quickly recap, I have been working on projecting salaries with an algorithm since 2017 and my 1.0 version turned out decently well. However, it required too much manual input to be feasible in the long-term and as a result I started almost from scratch last summer, when I began to work on the salary cap keeper league rankings. I have been tweaking those numbers ever since and at this point I have worked out the major kinks. If a player does not appear below then it means that they are either a) not a free agent this fall, b) only projected for a league minimum salary and didn't make the relevance cut for the top 200, or c) they fell through the cracks and aren't in my database. If you notice someone missing drop a comment so I can verify that in future there aren't any relevant option "c" players.

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Some thoughts on the projections:

Most importantly, these projections aren't perfect – keep that in mind. These projections try to take all of the player biases out of the equation, and it's all based off of numbers. As a result, if you don't agree with something, then it could mean you have some existing biases that are showing through. On the flip side, this also means that a lot of the NHL GM biases can't be taken into account, and what we end up with is more-so a projection of a player's value instead of exactly what they will sign for. This means that it can be a useful tool to ballpark a player's value before they sign and to give an approximation on their potential cost. It can then also be used after a contract is signed to compare their value to the contract versus the expectation, easily signaling whether the initial reaction to the contract should be positive of negative.

The list that I put out in February had a few major bugs that I have tried to fix. The biggest was managing injured players such as Taylor Hall, and balancing their lack of production in the current season against their upside and expected production when healthy. I am now content that most of the bugs have been worked out of the system, but as with any writer and publisher of numbers, I love to hear criticism and comments as they point out the areas for improvement. You can find me on Twitter @alexdmaclean for any of these comments.

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Some quick thoughts on the list:

-The top names are unsurprising. Due to the lack in elite talent and the flat cap, we may not see an eight digit AAV contract signed this summer.

Tyler Bertuzzi is the first surprise name that appears, and one thing the model doesn't take into account is Steve Yzerman. It's very possible that he implements a similar bridge system in Detroit as what was done in Tampa, meaning we might expect Bertuzzi to see something closer to the $3-4 million range for a few years before cashing in for his big contract.

-If the Canucks do indeed trade Brock Boeser just to sign Tyler Toffoli for $5.5 million per year, they will be cursed to another half-a-dozen years in purgatory.

-Brothers Ryan Strome and Dylan Strome being predicted for nearly the same amount is entertaining. It seems like most of you think Dylan is worth more, but he does have more left to prove.

Nolan Patrick isn't looking at a great bridge deal. Everything comes second to his health though, so hopefully there's some good news on that front soon.

-Goalies aren't covered here, but I'm hoping to have some projections for them before October when free-agency is set to open.

-Some teams like the Blues with Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn or the Islanders with Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews, are really going to get hit hard by the flat cap (as are the Tampa Bay Lightning that we touched on last week).

-The minimum salary for next year as per the new CBA is $750,000.

NameAgePosProjected Cap Hit
Taylor Hall28F$9,260,564
Alex Pietrangelo30D$8,699,712
Torey Krug29D$8,110,016
Mathew Barzal23F$8,062,715
Mike Hoffman30F$7,140,559
Sam Reinhart24F$6,808,837
Ryan Pulock25D$6,738,797
Pierre-Luc Dubois22F$6,648,132
Max Domi25F$6,386,408
Tyler Bertuzzi25F$6,327,051
Dominik Kubalík24F$6,236,158
Anthony Cirelli23F$5,805,380
Tyler Toffoli28F$5,782,105
Anthony DeAngelo24D$5,764,583
Evgenii Dadonov31F$5,722,675
Anthony Mantha25F$5,698,444
Andre Burakovsky25F$5,389,237
Victor Olofsson24F$5,028,664
Ryan Graves25D$4,959,987
Devon Toews26D$4,943,949
Chris Tierney26F$4,889,423
Anthony Duclair24F$4,824,146
Ryan Strome27F$4,775,928
Dylan Strome23F$4,736,037
Jake Virtanen23F$4,660,488
Tyson Barrie28D$4,569,545
Kevin Labanc24F$4,535,410
Ethan Bear23D$4,466,892
Jake DeBrusk23F$4,428,346
Jared McCann24F$4,324,032
Mikhail Sergachev22D$4,164,167
Roope Hintz23F$4,149,461
Matt Grzelcyk26D$4,121,904
Adam Gaudette23F$4,084,974
Mikael Granlund28F$4,055,741
Robby Fabbri24F$3,956,322
Denis Gurianov23F$3,949,664
Luke Kunin22F$3,878,729
Jordan Greenway23F$3,860,816
Jesper Bratt21F$3,833,769
Vladislav Namestnikov27F$3,829,629
Warren Foegele24F$3,676,477
Erik Haula29F$3,676,274
Dominik Kahun25F$3,675,351
Joel Edmundson27D$3,659,873
Craig Smith30F$3,653,777
Valeri Nichushkin25F$3,597,986
Brandon Montour26D$3,591,353
Erik Gustafsson28D$3,539,029
Sami Vatanen29D$3,519,220
Andreas Athanasiou25F$3,513,938
Vladislav Gavrikov24D$3,513,276
T.J. Brodie30D$3,437,665
Connor Brown26F$3,394,540
Tyson Jost22F$3,390,481
Jesper Fast28F$3,387,941
Ilya Mikheyev25F$3,337,321
Chris Tanev30D$3,259,146
Vinnie Hinostroza26F$3,240,205
Nick Cousins26F$3,235,434
Dominik Simon25F$3,194,875
Derick Brassard32F$3,182,700
Troy Stecher26D$3,170,985
Alex Galchenyuk26F$3,086,384
Carl Soderberg34F$3,072,167
Jimmy Vesey27F$3,065,210
Chandler Stephenson26F$3,014,938
Kevin Shattenkirk31D$2,989,705
Justin Schultz30D$2,977,695
Sean Walker25D$2,973,578
Philippe Myers23D$2,946,927
Conor Sheary28F$2,943,133
Sonny Milano24F$2,880,612
Vince Dunn23D$2,865,564
Nikita Zadorov25D$2,848,209
Mattias Janmark27F$2,808,234
Travis Dermott23D$2,782,309
Radek Faksa26F$2,741,361
Erik Cernak22D$2,735,768
Mark Pysyk28D$2,722,912
Andrew Mangiapane24F$2,717,929
Oskar Lindblom23F$2,636,718
Jack Roslovic23F$2,564,543
Tyler Ennis30F$2,559,987
Matthew Nieto27F$2,542,848
Haydn Fleury24D$2,542,664
Brendan Lemieux24F$2,448,146
Radko Gudas30D$2,407,297
Victor Mete22D$2,393,796
Jacob Larsson23D$2,316,750
Christian Fischer23F$2,129,227
Dylan DeMelo27D$2,117,277
Lucas Wallmark24F$2,041,796
Riley Sheahan28F$2,037,547
Cody Ceci26D$2,024,426
Mark Jankowski25F$1,953,443
Michael Del Zotto30D$1,950,060
Johan Larsson27F$1,942,123
Nick Holden33D$1,859,530
Carson Soucy25D$1,850,780
Mikko Koivu37F$1,821,621
Travis Hamonic29D$1,819,992
Cody Eakin29F$1,818,161
Mike Green34D$1,775,644
Madison Bowey25D$1,704,900
Wayne Simmonds31F$1,682,795
Sam Lafferty25F$1,670,501
Anders Bjork23F$1,662,274
Drake Caggiula26F$1,650,444
MacKenzie Weegar26D$1,646,341
Josh Anderson26F$1,583,734
Casey Mittelstadt21F$1,525,969
Nathan Beaulieu27D$1,524,144
Ilya Kovalchuk37F$1,502,413
Melker Karlsson29F$1,495,686
Oliver Kylington23D$1,478,933
Patrick Marleau40F$1,474,374
Corey Perry35F$1,467,650
Zemgus Girgensons26F$1,422,268
Joe Thornton41F$1,411,114
Frederik Gauthier25F$1,406,254
Derek Grant30F$1,384,562
Tim Heed29D$1,382,795
Andy Greene37D$1,368,597
Zdeno Chara43D$1,366,144
Tyler Pitlick28F$1,338,778
Dmytro Timashov23F$1,330,831
Brenden Dillon29D$1,330,454
Trevor van Riemsdyk28D$1,324,208
Kyle Clifford29F$1,307,490
Justin Braun33D$1,285,673
Mark Borowiecki31D$1,279,702
Slater Koekkoek26D$1,277,386
Sami Niku23F$1,272,743
Michael Frolik32F$1,261,126
Filip Chlapik23F$1,237,167
Tomas Nosek27F$1,233,320
Mirco Mueller25D$1,231,871
Carter Verhaeghe24F$1,224,410
Brendan Perlini24F$1,222,083
Nikolai Prokhorkin26F$1,206,473
Sam Gagner30F$1,202,231
Dmitry Kulikov29D$1,193,415
Juuso Riikola26D$1,132,459
Pat Maroon32F$1,130,007
Taro Hirose24F$1,101,027
Jayce Hawryluk24F$1,093,412
Josh Leivo27F$1,079,009
Anthony Bitetto29D$1,077,002
Robert Hagg25D$1,059,794
Denis Malgin23F$1,055,653
Ron Hainsey39D$1,032,554
Travis Boyd26F$1,023,736
Mason Appleton24F$1,020,460
Lawrence Pilut24D$1,011,289
Trevor Lewis33F$949,701
Jason Spezza37F$937,944
Adam Erne25F$934,233
Charles Hudon19D$925,000
Josh Brown26D$911,474
Brendan Guhle22F$896,648
Nate Thompson35F$893,673
Matt Luff23F$887,149
Gaetan Haas28F$867,407
Carl Grundstrom22F$862,422
Stefan Noesen27F$853,573
Joakim Nordstrom28F$851,479
Markus Granlund27F$849,648
Rudolfs Balcers23F$849,367
Luca Sbisa30D$838,556
Patrick Russell27F$838,266
Mathieu Joseph23F$811,646
Austin Wagner23F$810,880
Oscar Fantenberg28D$801,574
Zach Bogosian29D$795,300
Devin Shore25F$788,005
Aleksi Saarela23F$785,735
Vladislav Kamenev23F$769,708
Karson Kuhlman24F$763,664
Kevin Stenlund23F$750,000
Nolan Patrick21F$750,000
Henrik Borgstrom22F$750,000
Tyler Motte25F$750,000
Tage Thompson22F$750,000
Joshua Ho-Sang24F$750,000
Nick Merkley23F$750,000
Evgeny Svechnikov23F$750,000
Curtis Lazar25F$750,000
Zach Senyshyn23F$750,000
Sebastian Aho (d)24F$750,000
Brian Boyle35F$750,000
Austin Czarnik27F$750,000
Kevin Roy27F$750,000
Peter Cehlarik24F$750,000
Sheldon Rempal24F$750,000
Sheldon Dries26F$750,000
Louie Belpedio24D$750,000
Deryk Engelland38D$750,000
Brett Ritchie27F$750,000
Max Veronneau24F$750,000

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
VICTOR HEDMAN T.B 6 3 5 8
JOHN KLINGBERG DAL 6 1 6 7
ALEXANDER RADULOV DAL 7 1 6 7
MATTIAS JANMARK DAL 4 1 2 3

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency T.B Players
28.4% NIKITA KUCHEROV ONDREJ PALAT BRAYDEN POINT
20.9% BLAKE COLEMAN BARCLAY GOODROW YANNI GOURDE
19.6% ANTHONY CIRELLI TYLER JOHNSON ALEX KILLORN

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